LAHORE: Members of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and a policeman were among the six people killed during a clash between PAT protesters and policemen in Lahore on Tuesday.
According to initial reports, one of the deceased PAT supporters is a 16-year-old. A woman has also been killed in the skirmish, but authorities have not yet identified the deceased. On Twitter, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri condemned the government for “harassing and killing” his party workers.
“The government, gripped by fear of my arrival, is harassing PAT workers,” he posted, adding that it is an oppressive step taken by the government which would pave the way for promotion of terrorism. “Several people have been martyred and they have entered the secretariat and my house,” he said.
“If they came to remove the barriers, why are they killing people and attacking people? Their purpose was only bloodshed and killings.” Straight shots were reportedly fired when elite force personnel showed up to disperse PAT supporters outside the Lahore residence of PAT chief Qadri.
Supporters of PAT were being rounded up by the police and being taken to a nearby station in Model Town. Earlier, 55 people had been arrested. In fresh arrests, 12 more were detained. Supporters were reportedly hiding in the PAT secretariat.
As police baton-charged the protestors, they began to hurl rocks at them. Moreover, the elite force had been firing straight shots at the protestors. Moreover, injured were shifted to a nearby hospital. Over 35 people were injured during violent clashes between PAT members and police personnel outside Qadri’s Lahore residence. The injured included 11 policemen as well.
Police personnel from at least 12 police stations had been called to control the clash. There were almost 1,000 police personnel on the site of the protest, according to latest reports. Due to the blockage of roads, commuters were also facing trouble.
Earlier, several area residents had overnight protested outside Qadri’s house in the presence of a large contingent of police personnel. The residents had been demanding the immediate removal of the barrier outside Qadri’s house in Model Town.
PAT members were sprayed with tear gas and whipped by police personnel during the clash. Qadri condemned police action on PAT members calling it cowardly. He added that the government could not stop his arrival nor could they stop the revolution that his party would be bringing in the country.
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain condemned police action on PAT members and demanded instant clearance outside what he called Qadri’s besieged residence. – Dawn