Skirmishes leave PTI man dead

Police completely damage Dr Yasmin Rashid’s car while she was inside it

​ Our Correspondents May 26, 2022
A scene of clashes between PTI and the police. FILE


The provincial capital turned into a battleground following the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government allegedly giving “a free hand” to Punjab Police to stop the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and workers from participating in the Haqeeqi Azadi March called by PTI Chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.

During an alleged police action at Bhatti Chowk, a former PTI councilor, Faisal Abbas, fell from the bridge and died of serious injuries. Local administration and city police had blocked all exit points at the city by parking mud-filled containers.

Heavy police contingents were deployed at the Lower Mall, Band Road, Sagian Bridge, Bhatti Chowk, Ravi Bridge and other adjacent areas to stop PTI leaders, workers, supporters and public at large from leaving the provincial capital to participate in the Haqeeqi Azadi March in Islamabad.

PTI leader Hammad Azhar had called party workers to gather at Bhatti Chowk to become part of the Haqeeqi Azadi March.

When PTI workers and lawyer started to show up in groups at the venue, police baton charged them and fired teargas shells to disperse the protestors.

Angry protestors also threw stones at police parties in retaliation, and dozens of PTI workers were arrested during early hours of PTI’s Azadi March.

Police also arrested PTI leaders Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Mussarat Jamshed Cheema, Andleeb Abbas and others. Police completely damaged the car of Dr Yasmin Rashid while she had been inside the vehicle along with other party women.

However, after some time police announced release of all women leaders and workers of the party while the male PTI leaders had been allegedly shifted to undisclosed locations.

PTI leader Hammad Azhar and party’s Punjab president Shafqat Mahmood managed to leave the city to participate in the Azadi March. Punjab PTI President Shafqat Mahmood said that Shehbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah were murderers of Abbas.

DIG (Operations) Sohail Chaudhry addressed a press conference earlier in the day. Addressing the journalists at the Qila Gujjar Singh Police lines he alleged that heavy ammunition -- at least 13 short machine guns (SMGs), three pistols, 106 magazines and bullet packets -- had been recovered from the houses and vehicles of PTI leaders Bajash Niazi and Zubair Niazi. He said they had received some information that heavy ammunition was being transported to the city to be used for terror purposes under the guise of peaceful protests.

Police followed the vehicles that went into the houses of Bajash Niazi and Zubair. Police raided the places. However, arrests could not be made, but the ammunition was recovered, he said.

Heavy contingent of police equipped with teargas shells, batons, etc., were deployed throughout the city. Skirmishes between PTI supporters and police were reported at multiple points.

The first major clash was reported outside the Aiwan-e-Adal where the lawyers of PTI tried to move towards Islamabad for the Azadi March. However, police offered resistance and placed barricades. Police also arrested PTI leader Hasssan Niazi. However, he was released after a brief interval on the intervention of fellow protestors.


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