Imran, PTI leaders booked over chaos in Lahore protest

LAHORE: Punjab police on Thursday lodged a case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and other PTI leaders over creating chaos during PTI’s protest in Punjab’s capital.

A First Information Report (FIR) lodged against Mr Khan stated that up to 400 people including armed men vandalised the venue and threatened the security institutions on the guidelines of Mr Khan and PTI leaders including Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, Mahmoodur Rasheed, Ijaz Chaudhry, and others. “Enraged protestors pelted stones at the police personnel”, the report added.

The FIR stated that PTI activists’ vandalism injured 13 police officials as well as six activists. “They were shifted to Services hospital where injured Ali Bilal succumbed to his injuries”, the report added.

Taking to Twitter, PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry wrote, “I have been in Islamabad for past two days to plead the court for Mr Khan’s security, but Punjab police lodged a case against me over vandalism in Lahore. It reflects the credibility of administration that has been imposed in Punjab”.

Earlier, the party had planned to kick start its election campaign with a rally from Zaman Park to Data Darbar. However, it later put off the campaign until Saturday but dedicated the rally to the judiciary.

Before the start of the rally, the Punjab government imposed Section 144 in Lahore for seven days with immediate effect, banning rallies, processions and gatherings in the provincial capital due to security reasons. Later, the PTI called off its pro-judiciary rally.

Soon after the imposition of Section 144, police started detaining PTI workers and closed roads leading to Zaman park to block the rally. Things turned sour when police officials resorted to tear gas shelling, water canons and baton charge to disperse the participants from gathering for the rally. It left multiple injured and one dead, and Mr Khan claimed that he had been murdered by the police.

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