The Pakistani government has deployed over 600 security personnel around the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, to keep tabs on the activities of religious students, local newspapers reported Thursday.
Printed pictures show that the paramilitary forces have surrounded the Aabpara Community Center, where Lal Masjid and its affiliated seminaries lie, along with barbed wires to avoid any untoward incident there.
"It has been decided to take severe action against local Taliban in case of violence by them," an unnamed security official was quoted as saying by The News newspaper.
Another newspaper The Nation also noted that tension seemed mounting in the Lal Masjid environs, as the government Wednesday deployed heavy contingent of rangers.
Pakistan took this action just days after religious students under Lal Masjid in an overnight raid to an Islamabad-based Chinese clinic had abducted seven Chinese, whom they released later after negotiation efforts were made through Pakistani authorities.
According to The Nation, there came a parallel response from the stick-wielding young followers of Lal Masjid administration, who were found laying down broken electricity poles and branches of trees to block both the roads in front of the main gates of the Masjid, as authorities assigned security personnel there to beef up security measures Wednesday.
Vowing to enforce Shariat in the country, Lal Masjid managers and their religious students have taken a series of "bold" steps from occupying a government library, attacking some local women and music shops, and kidnapping policemen, since months ago, which were not only hated by local common people and also termed as " unlawful" activities by authorities.