One policeman was killed and three others critically injured when devotees of a shrine in Golra Sharif near Islamabad opened fire on a police squad on Thursday.
The incident occurred when a procession of devotees carrying a ceremonial palanquin for their yearly offering to the shrine of Baba Fazal Shah started aerial firing despite a ban on the activity.
A police party was sent from the nearby Golra Police Station to investigate the firing. They asked the devotees to stop the firing and tried to arrest one of them.
The devotees subsequently opened fire on the police in front of the main compound of the shrine, killing Constable Mushtaq Hussain on the spot. Constables Muhammad Arshad and Muhammad Saleem, and Assistant Sub-Inspector Terabul Hassan were critically injured. They were shifted to Pims and are now in stable condition, police officials said.
After the attack, the devotees took advantage of the large crowd present outside the shrine’s main compound and fled the scene.
“The father of the man we had arrested first opened fire at the police personnel,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer Saddar Jamil Hashmi told The Express Tribune. “Bullets from his gun killed Mushtaq Hussain.”
Later, Hussain’s funeral prayers were offered at the Police Lines Headquarters. Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam announced a compensation amount of Rs2 million for the family of the dead constable, who belonged to Gujranwala.
Golra Police said they had arrested three people suspected to be related to the main suspects.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 18th, 2010.
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