LAHORE: At least three policemen were martyred while several other sustained injuries in clashes with banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) activists in Lahore.
According to the detail, during the stampede a vehicle of the protesters hit the personnel of law enforcement agencies, resulting in the death of two police officials.
Lahore DIG (Operation) Spokesperson Mazhar Hussain identified two of the slain officials as Ayub and Khalid.
The identity of the third official has not yet been ascertained, but a statement from the provincial chief minister stated that three policemen were martyred. CM Punjab offered condolences to the families of martyrs and directed officials to take stern action against the culprits.
DIG Operations further said several others were also injured and taken to the hospital. “Protesters also hurled petrol bombs on officials,” he said, adding that officials tried to prevent them from vandalising and damaging public property.
Meanwhile, Lahore police spokesman Arif Rana said that officials fired teargas after the TLP supporters attacked a police checkpoint. However, a TLP media coordinator, Saddam Bukhari, said the police attacked the peaceful rally that was on its way to Islamabad.
Earlier, the Punjab government formed a committee comprising provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat and Prosecution Minister Chaudhry Zaheeruddin for talks with the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) ahead of the party’s long march to the federal capital.
The chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said that according to the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH), “we all need to work together for peace and harmony in the country”.
Meanwhile, announcing the long march on Islamabad a day earlier, TLP leader Pir Ajmal Qadri had said the “peaceful” procession would begin after Friday prayers. “If any hurdles are created, the party also has a Plan B to thwart any official attempts,” he had told a charged crowd at a protest site in Lahore.
Security in the twin cities has been placed on high alert with major highways, including the Murree Road, sealed with containers and barricades in an effort to deal with the TLP’s planned march from Lahore to Islamabad.
The proscribed party had called for a march to the federal capital after Friday prayers.