Amraiz Khan Lahore
The Punjab police claimed on Saturday to have arrested 13 “terrorists” and recovered 16 rifles from their possession during the raid on PTI chief Imran Khan’s residence Zaman Park here. More than 60 party cohorts accused of resorting to hostilities to obstruct the law were also arrested. Hours after Khan hit the road to attend the Toshakhana case hearing in the capital on Saturday, Punjab Police barged into his residence.
The police operation was launched at Imran Khan’s residence Saturday morning to clear the area of ‘security camps’ established by the party.
“Section 144 is imposed, you are kindly advised to disperse,” police said in an announcement before barging into Imran Khan’s residence.
Television footage showed police entering the Khan’s eight-canal house after using an excavator to bring down the main iron gate of the house. Punjab Inspector General of Police Usman Anwar, in a press conference, said police had finished the search and cleanup operation in Zaman Park and took into custody AK-47 assault rifles and a large number of bullets from Imran Khan’s mansion in Lahore’s posh neighbourhood.
Moreover, glass bottles, suspected to be used in making Molotov cocktails, and hundreds of marbles for being shot at police with slingshots were also collected from Khan’s house.
He also clarified that police had not entered the area where Imran’s wife was present. Usman Anwar said, “Police entered Zaman Park to arrest suspects who hurled petrol bombs and stones on constables from inside Zaman Park residence,” adding that all “terrorists” present inside Zaman Park house had been apprehended.
Later, he said five more Kalashnikovs were also found on Khan’s property. To a question, the IG said the legal status of the guns — whether they were licensed or not — was being evaluated.
He said before the operation, the roads around the park were blocked with shipping containers, “which now have been cleared “.
The police conducted the search operation with water cannons, contingents of fully-equipped riot police, lady police, and prisoner vans, the top Punjab cop said, adding that anti-encroachment personnel also accompanied the police along with heavy earthmoving machinery.
“The police broke the main gate with an excavator and entered Imran Khan’s house,” the police official said, adding that a curtain had been placed on the broken gate.
The top policeman alleged that his men came under direct fire from Khan’s house.
He said the police demolished several camps built outside Imran’s residence, while anti-encroachment crews removed sandbags and other encroachments using heavy machinery.