QUETTA: At least one person was killed and another was injured on Wednesday when enraged protesters, linked to religious groups, opened fire while forcing shopkeepers and traders to close their shops in Liaquat Bazaar.
Within an hour after the protests began, Quetta wore a deserted look as all shops, eateries and trading centers were forced to close down. Protesters and law enforcement agencies were seen in large numbers at Mezan Chowk, in downtown Quetta.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that after the incident in Liaquat Bazaar, heavy contingents of police and law enforcers were deployed in the affected areas and that the situation was comparatively peaceful since.
The protesters had also torched a motorbike and burned tyres on Jinnah Road, Prince Road, Mezan Chowk, Prince Road and Alamdar Road.
“Protestors torched two motorbikes and opened fire that is why police have lobbed teargas shells,” Cheema explained police action.
The injured were taken to Provincial Sandeman Hospital where two of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
The deceased was identified as 20-year-old Zin ul Abideen. He was reportedly taking part in the protest in which shopkeepers were being forced to close their shops.
“Police have launched a investigation into the violence related incidents in Quetta with the help of footages collected from CCTV cameras and other sources,” Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Abdul Razzaq Cheema told The Express Tribune.
The Quetta police chief said all the religious parties have assured the police that they will cooperate for maintaining peace. “Everyone is saying that they have nothing to do with the violent protest of Wednesday. We collected some footages and photos that will help us to trace the people.”
Wednesday's protests were a continuation of smaller protest on Tuesday by religious groups.
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