LAHORE: Eight policemen have been detained in connection with the Model Town clashes in Lahore, in what is seen as a major breakthrough following last week’s order by a judicial tribunal set up to probe the deadly incident.
On July 9, the tribunal, headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najfi of the Lahore High Court (LHC), had suggested action be taken against police officials who were involved in the clashes with Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers. Over a dozen PAT workers were killed and over 80 injured during the clashes.
As a result, eight police officials, including former SHO of Sabzazar Police Station, have been detained.
Following the July 9 order, the judge heading the tribunal is said to have received threatening letters.
The tribunal had sought records of the conversation of the Punjab chief minister, his concerned minister and personal secretary, and police high-ups on June 16 and 17, during the time of the incident.
The tribunal had also directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to provide information of standard operating procedures (SOPs) of communicating orders issued by him to his subordinates on the ground during any operation — such as the one carried out at the Minhajul Quran secretariat.
Moreover, the tribunal also passed an order for a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) set up to investigate the clashes, directing it to submit technical evidence, such as call records.
Furthermore, the tribunal also ordered the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Special Branch for their assistance by sharing their reports regarding the incident.
Additional IGP Altaf Hussain, appearing before the tribunal on behalf of the IGP, informed the tribune that, so far, nothing adverse wad done to the police officials who conducted the operation against the PAT activists.
He said that no notice was issued to any police official responsible for the incident.