Police raids on houses of IJT workers in PU

LAHORE, June 29(Daily Times): Police have conducted several raids on houses of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) workers in the Punjab University in a crackdown against the Jamaat-e-Islami youth wing. No arrests have been made in Lahore so far.

Some of the raids were made in Gulshan-e-Ravi, Samanabad, Shahjamal, Chauburji and Shahdara. A huge police contingent surrounded the house of IJT's PU Nazim Muhammad Ayub for several hours but he was not arrested, party officials said. They said police had arrested nine of their workers in other parts of the Punjab.

Hamidur Rehman, the federal spokesman of the IJT, said police began the province-wide crackdown on Thursday morning and arrested several students and workers who were visiting their homes in summer vacations.

Police arrested Kashif Arif, the IJT secretary of information, and Arabit Awan, a worker, from Sargodha, he said. Zahid Naveed was arrested from Jaranwala, he said, Ahsan Jamal from Kasur, Asim Jillani from Sahiwal, Kamran Zafar from Khushab, and Rana Farid and his two cousins from Gujranwala.

IJT officials said the government had taken the measure to stop IJT from supporting the ongoing movement in support of the chief justice of Pakistan.

In a press release issued on Thursday, they condemned the crackdown and said the government intended to disturb law and order in Punjab. IJT workers should not be blamed if the situation worsened, the statement said.

A Punjab Police spokesman declined to comment on the crackdown. The capital city police officer and the operations DIG did not respond to telephone calls.

A senior police official said the step was aimed at stopping the IJT from joining anti-government rallies at the time when they were on the rise. "The IJT always tries to take advantage of such situations," he said.

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