Lahore: At least 40 clerics have been arrested in Pakistan's Punjab province for threatening peace as authorities took special security measures ahead of Muharram.
According to a senior Punjab police official, the 40 clerics of four sects have been arrested from different parts of Punjab.
"The arrested clerics violated laws and directives pertaining to routes and timing of processions and Majalis, ban on entry in certain cities for delivering speeches there, misuse of loudspeaker, distribution of hate material, wall chalking, aerial firing, display of weapons and taking out processions during loadshedding and committed other violations of section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code," the official told Dawn newspaper.
The official said that another 80 clerics of different sects have been stopped from leaving their native towns in Punjab as they are known for their "provocative speeches" and they can be a threat for peace during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.
Besides, more than 1,160 ulema (religious scholars) have been ordered by law-enforcement agencies not to enter certain cities in Punjab.
The Punjab police have also banned 640 firebrand clerics of different schools of thought from speaking at any mourning procession, Majlis or gathering.