3 TLP supporters killed in clash with police


Police launched action in ‘self-defence’ after 12 cops abducted, six injured

Observer Report

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday said that a group of miscreants attacked Nawankot police station in Lahore and kidnapped 12 cops including a deputy superintendent of police.

“The miscreants were armed with petrol bombs and acid bottles and attacked the cops at the police station,” she said in her Twitter post besides also sharing a statement issued from the Punjab police on the entire episode.

She said the miscreants surrounded the Nawankot police station, where police and Rangers were staying and besides abducting 12 cops including a DSP, their attack led to the injuries to at least six policemen.

“The miscreants also stored 50,000 liters of fuel tanker at their Markaz,” the SACM said while rejecting that the Punjab government initiated any operation against the protestors.

“Police neither planned nor launched any operation,” Firdous Ashiq Awan said adding that the operation was launched in self-defense and in a bid to rescue the abducted cops and safeguard the public property.

Workers of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan “brutally tortured” a deputy superintendent of police and took him, as well as four other officials, hostage on Sunday, spokesperson for Lahore CCPO Rana Arif told media.

“Today in the early morning, miscreants attacked Nawankot Police Station where Rangers and Police officers were trapped inside the police station and DSP Nawankot kidnapped and taken to the markaz,” the Punjab police said in a statement, referring to the TLP headquarters.

Police and Rangers pushed them back and took back the possession of the police station,” it said, adding that police did not plan or conduct any operation against the mosque or the madressah. “The action, if any, was in self-defence and to protect public property.”

An official report showed 15 injured police personnel were under treatment at different hospitals in the city. Arif said the security personnel were subjected to “brutal torture” by TLP workers.

Meanwhile, at least three protesters were killed and several others injured during the clash, according to the party’s workers.

A TLP spokesperson said the clash started when police
launched an operation to clear the area around Lahore’s Yateem Khana Chowk, where workers of the banned party have been staging a protest since earlier this week.

In a video message, TLP spokesperson Shafiq Ameeni said that “[We] will bury [those killed] when the French ambassador exits the country and our agreement (with the government) is implemented.”

Videos on social media showed people carrying away the injured and tending to them. TLP workers wielding sticks and stones also climbed atop the Orange Line Metro Train, while
speeches were being made through the area mosque to call people for support, according to the city police spokesperson.

He said the protesters were pelting stones at police and Rangers personnel. Roads leading to the TLP headquarters near Yateem Khana Chowk were blocked.

Still, supporters of banned TLP have been sharing videos on social media of what they said were clashes on Sunday with police, and hashtags supporting the group were trending in
Pakistan on Sunday.