Police said on Friday its officials were assaulted after they stopped congregational prayers from taking place as Sindh undergoes a lockdown owing to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Police said a local mosque’s Imam led the Friday prayers despite the three-hour complete lockdown in place in the city’s Liaquatabad area.
Upon violation, police officials tried to stop the prayers but were attacked by the violators. “People were instigated by the Imam when police asked them to stop the congregational prayers,” stated police.
Two policemen were assaulted by people, who later had to find cover at a citizen’s home.
Provincial authorities took strong measures today to ensure a complete lockdown across Sindh from 12 to 3:30 pm. Movement of people was also suspended during these hours as the streets and roads wore a deserted look.
The measures were put in place to stop the public from going to mosques for Friday prayers and avoid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Today when police reportedly tried to stop a Friday prayer congregation at a mosque forcibly in #Karachi’s Liaquatabad, residents reacted violently. #lockdown #SocialDistancing . pic.twitter.com/1MaNI0Am6W
— Zia Ur Rehman (@zalmayzia) April 3, 2020
In a statement issued on Thursday night, Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah formally announced the lockdown. He said that stopping people from the congregational prayers was a painful act, but it was an unavoidable measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Sindh Home Department also issued a notification to order complete closure of public, private, transport, business other public activities on Friday.
The notification only allowed three to five people to offer congregational prayers in the mosques.
Pakistan has seen more than 2,400 cases of the coronavirus, with 35 deaths.