Clashes in Pakistan over closure of shrine as Covid-19 measure leave scores injured

Published on Apr 02, 2021 04:30 PM IST

The clash continued for over 90 minutes until police reinforcements and Sindh Rangers personnel controlled the situation and forced the devotees out of the premises.

Shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan's southern Sindh province.(Reuters)
Shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan's southern Sindh province.(Reuters)
ANI | , Karachi

Scores of people in Pakistan's Sindh suffered injuries as clashes broke out over the closure of the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan due to rising Covid-19 cases.

The violence erupted between police and devotees on Thursday. The violent clashes left scores injured and several motorcycles burnt, Pakistan's News International reported.

The clash continued for over 90 minutes until police reinforcements and Sindh Rangers personnel controlled the situation and forced the devotees out of the premises.

There was reportedly a thin deployment of the police at the shrine as the relevant authorities appeared remiss that the gathering of tens of thousands of devotees in the small town could create a law and order situation, Express Tribune reported.

During the clash, the mob broke down barriers and set on fire several vehicles, including motorcycles. This followed a free for all and soon a large group tore open the main door of the shrine to make their way inside.

As the coronavirus cases in Sindh increase, the provincial government has decided to shut down shrines across the province.

A few days back, the Sindh Government has announced its decision to close all shrines and Dargahs in the province for 10 days while the annual Urs of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was cancelled in view of the third wave of Covid-19 in the country.

Sindh has reported over 266,000 coronavirus cases so far. The province has also reported 4,500 fatalities due to the infection.

On Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that the province was set to impose more stringent restrictions in view of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.

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