ISLAMABAD: While supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah may have returned from the capital, those who were assigned to stand guard near their camp and were injured during the November 25 clashes have been left nursing their wounds.
Police officers who had to seek refuge in Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s house ask why were pitted against the protesters in the first place.
Mohammad Sajjad*, an ASI in Rawalpindi, is still receiving treatment for the wounds suffered that day.
From his hospital bed in the capital, he recalled how he had been deployed at a petrol pump between Faizabad and Lohi Bher on that day.
“Around 40 to 45 policemen were deployed in the area,” he recalled.
When they saw a large mob head towards them, the officials wondered whether they should stay or seek cover.
“There were hundreds of protesters. They were armed with batons and stones, while we only had teargas to disperse them and some riot gear to protect ourselves,” Sajjad said.
The officer said that they lobbed teargas shells at the protesters, but they were too determined to be dissuaded by the gas, the official said.
“They pelted us with stones which left many policemen injured,” he said, adding that they ran for their lives and sought refuge in the nearby settlements.
“They torched police vehicles and the petrol pump and were moving forward to kill us,” the ASI said.
“I along with other officials jumped into Chaudhry Nisar’s house.”
The house had high walls and the officer said he landed hard on his feet.
“I broke my ankles [as I landed],” he said.
“I don’t know about others, but I was stranded there for almost 24 hours without any first aid or food as the protesters lurked outside the house,” he said, adding that the protesters broke the wall of former minister’s house and were trying to reach them.
“They were thirsty for blood and would have probably killed us if the Frontier Corps deployed there did not disperse them.”
Another police officer who was injured by the stones thrown by the protesters, backed up Sajjad’s story, noting that he somehow had managed to escape and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Hospital officials stated that most of the officials or protesters injured on that day were either near Faizabad or were near Chaudhry Nisar’s home.
At least five bodies and around 10 to 20 injured people were brought to the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) from that area.
One protester had been shot in the head and the bullet had passed through his head, doctors said.
*NAME CHANGED TO PROTECT IDENTITY