Islamabad/Lahore/Karachi: The PTI activists and police clashed in major cities and parts of the counntry on the occasion of long march started by party chairman Imran Khan from Peshawar.
The clashes turned violent in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad where police resorted to shelling and baton charge to disperse protesters.
A PTI worker fell from the River Ravi Bridge when police restorted to shelling and tried to drag some protesters. Some PTI protesters burned a police van in Karachi.
The PTI protetsers clashed with the Islamabad police at D Chowk the entire day. There were reports of blazes erupted near D Chowk.
In Karachi PTI’s Karachi chapter transformed its protest at the city’s Numaish area into a sit-in after the situation turned tense over the burning of a police van.
The situation at Karachi’s Numaish Chowrangi took a violent turn today evening after the protestors burnt a police van. The protestors had also pelted stones at the police that had inured a superintendent of the police.
The police tried to disperse the protestors by using aerial firing, however, their efforts went in vain.
Apart from the chaos at Numaish, riots also erupted at the Khudadad Colony Chowrangi and Noorani Chowrangi.
During the protests, Asif Hasan, who is a photographer for a foreign news agency, was also injured. Geo News cameraman Nasir Ali also sustained wounds.
Speaking about the sit-in, PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman said that their sit-in at Numaish will continue till Imran Khan asks them to end it.
Five injured people, including a policeman, have been brought to the Jinnah Hospital, a spokesperson of the hospital said.
The spokesperson said that two of the injured were shot once, while one of them was affected by teargas.
"One of the persons who got shot in the stomach is in the operation theatre," he told Geo News.
Two persons were provided medical aid and sent home, said the spokesperson, adding that all the patients are out of danger.
In Lahore, violent clashes erupted between the PTI workers and the riot police, as the district administration had blocked all exit points leading towards Islamabad.
The police had to fire tear-gas shells to disperse the PTI workers near Bhatti Chowk, Shahdara, Aiwan-e-Adl, Ravi Bridge and other areas.
On Wednesday night, police tried to disperse protesters at Liberty Chowk and resorted to shelling. The younger protesters pelted poliecmen with stones.
At some places, the PTI workers attempted to proceed towards Islamabad by pushing aside containers amid tear-gas shelling.
The vehicle of PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid was also damaged and she reportedly received minor injuries. Dr Yasmin, in a statement, alleged that the windshield of her vehicle was broken by the police.
To police tried to arrest senior PTI leaders Shafqat Mahmood and Hammad Azhar, who were leading rallies.The PTI lawyers and workers also scuffled with police outside Aiwan-e-Adl and Post Master General office.
The police, however, arrested dozens of PTI leaders and workers including Andleeb Abbas, Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, Jamshed Iqbal and Ijaz Chaudhry, and some of them were later released.
Earlier, Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Lahore Sohail Chaudhry told a press conference that in the last few days the police had received information that weapons were being brought to the provincial capital to disturb its peace.
The DIG said the police chased five cars near the Motorway. Then the police raided the house of Zubair Niazi, PTI’s General Secretary, in Lahore and recovered a huge cache of weapons, including 13 SMG rifles, three pistols, 26 magazines and hundreds of bullets, which were apparently meant for use during the march, he claimed..
Meanwhile, the cellular services reportedly remained suspended in few parts of the provincial metropolis.
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