LAHORE: Thousands throng to Minar-e-Pakistan to bid farewell to Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi. The funeral prayers for Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) turned into a historical gathering and ground of national monument turned small and all roads and buildings adjacent to ground were full.
Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand speaker and preacher of of Khatm-e-Nabuwat, who passed away on Thursday night
A huge turnout of people gathered at the site to attend the funeral prayers on Saturday with many complaining of mobile signal outages. The prayers were led by his son Saad Hussain Rizvi, who has been named the new TLP chief, according to TLP spokesman Salman Haider.
The city of Lahore started experiencing the impact of the death of the firebrand cleric when all entry points to the city and roads leading to his mosque faced traffic pressure, reporting long queues and jams. The pressure was set to grow today as thousands of his followers were expected to reach his funeral site and later to his burial site.
While some members of his party said he would be buried at his mosque in Chowk Yateem Khana, others have suggested his final resting place would be at the graveyard on Scheme Mor.
According to the Lahore chief traffic officer (CTO), five deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) and 36 inspectors were overseeing traffic arrangements in the city. In a statement, the CTO said that no point would be completely closed for traffic and diversions would be opened along the route of the funeral procession.
The funeral procession will move through the Niazi Shaheed Interchange, Bund Road, Babu Sabu Interchange and will stop at Scheme Mor.
Security in the city is on “high alert” on the directions of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh with extra personnel posted at the entry and exit points of Lahore.
The TLP chief passed away two days ago at the age of 54.
According to the party’s spokesperson, Hamza, Rizvi had been experiencing difficulty in breathing and was running a fever since a day earlier.
The spokesperson added that Rizvi was at his madressah on Multan Road when his condition deteriorated on Thursday evening. He was subsequently rushed to the Farooq Hospital in Iqbal Town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Rizvi was later taken to Sheikh Zayed Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead, said Saad Rizvi, son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi. He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.
Rizvi made his last public appearance at a sit-in staged by thousands of TLP followers at Islamabad’s Faizabad interchange to protest the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in France.
The group had decided to end the sit-in on Monday after successful negotiations with the government.