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FAISALABAD: A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) worker was shot dead as hundreds of PTI protesters clashed with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) activists and riot police armed with water cannons and batons here on Monday.
The PTI led by Imran Khan had vowed to paralyse the city as part of its efforts to topple the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whom it accused of rigging the 2013 poll.The PTI workers clashed with Nawaz supporters as well as with the riot police who baton-charged them as parts of Faisalabad came to a standstill.
Nabeela Ghazanfar, a spokeswoman for the Punjab Police, said: “One protester has been killed and five others injured including two policemen. The Punjab Police chief has issued strict orders not to let anybody take the law into their hands.”
A doctor in a Faisalabad hospital confirmed the death from bullet wounds and said five wounded persons were also being treated.A PTI official said the worker was shot dead. TV channels showed a man in civil clothes wielding a pistol at the PTI rally and blamed him for the killing.
Imran Khan said the PML-N supporters carried out the attack and lashed out at the police. “A peaceful protest is our right and it’s the duty of the state to provide security but the government tried to provoke our protesters,” the cricketer-turned-politician told reporters outside his house in Islamabad. “Our workers are being shot at in the presence of the police,” he said.
PTI’s Husnain, 20, a resident of Mannan Town, was killed when Shahid Ali of Samanabadallegedly opened fire at the PTI workers near Novelty Bridge on the Samundri Road. The accused managed to flee the scene after firing. Following the incident, the police raided his house but could not find him.
The situation got tense and the PTI workers moved to Clock Tower to join other workers. They shouted slogans against the government and demanded immediate arrest of the alleged killer. All the shops of the eight
bazaars around Clock Tower were shut down while the owners and employees of these shops remained present in front of their business points.
PTI leader and former Senator Tariq Chaudhry, MPA Sheikh Khurram Shahzad, PTI District President Rana Raheel Minhas, Regional General Secretary Faizulllah Kamooka, Zafar Iqbal Sindhu, Mian Tanvir Riaz, Rana Sikandar-e-Azam, Ch Ajmal Cheema, Zafar Iqbal Sarwar and District General Secretary Sharjeel Javed condemned the firing on the PTI activists and demanded immediate arrest of the killer.
Earlier, shops and business centres under 31 traders organisations had decided to close down their businesses on December 8 to express solidarity with the PTI leadership. All the main eight bazaars leading to the city were blocked by the PTI activists by placing burning tyres and citizens faced immense problems to reach their destinations. The passenger buses, vans, private vehicles and motorcycles were seen moving on all the city roads before 10:00am but disappeared soon after the PTI activists blocked important city points.
Another PTI activist, Asghar Ali, was burnt to death while putting a burning tyre on a road. After catching fire, he jumped into a nearby canal that resulted in his death.More than 8,000 policemen and dozens of police officers were deputed to cope with any eventuality.
DCO Noorul Amin Mengal, CPO Dr Sohail Habib, administration officers and SPs of all the four towns of Faisalabad supervised the security measures. The PTI workers pelted stones at the Dera of Punjab former law minister Rana Sanaullah after sunset, causing injuries to three cops. The PTI activists and Husnain‘s relatives placed his body in front of the Dera to record their protest. Two protesters were injured in police lathi-charge at the spot. The police also fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters. They arrested 25 PTI workers for damaging the Dera.
When contacted, Rana Sana told this correspondent that the man who opened fire at the PTI activists had nothing to do with the PML-N and would shortly be arrested. He said that he would hold a press conference on Tuesday (today) and make the revelation about the identity of the person who opened fire at the PTI workers at Novelty Bridge and killed a PTI activist.
District Bar Association Secretary Mr Wahla announced that the bar members would observe a complete strike on December 9 (today) to express sympathy with the killed PTI worker.Some unidentified persons pelted stones at the vehicle of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on the Jhang Road.
Later, the Samanabad Police registered a case against Punjab former law minister Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, DCO Noorul Ameen Mengal and 300 PML-N activists under Section 302,148/149 PPC and 7 ATA for the killing of Husnain. The case has been registered on the complaint of Attaullah, brother of Husnain.
Online adds: The PTI alleged that the shooter was a guard of Rana Sanaullah’s son-in-law.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the authorities concerned to maintain law and order in Faisalabad. PM Spokesman Musaddiq Malik said Nawaz Sharif had ordered indiscriminate action against miscreants. He also directed the police to provide security to traders and citizens.
Our Lahore Correspondent adds: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the firing incident and sought a report from the RPO. He also constituted a 3-member committee to probe the incident.
The Punjab Environment secretary will head the committee while the additional commissioner Faisalabad and DPO Toba Tek Singh will be its members.
Shahbaz said the situation arisen in Faisalabad was result of provocative statements and appeals of ransacking by some political leaders. He said he was grieved over the loss of precious human lives. He appealed PML-N workers to remain peaceful, saying that a peaceful protest was the constitutional right of every citizen however no one could be allowed to create chaos.
He warned that those taking law into their hands would be dealt with sternly. He said the government responsibility for protecting the life and property of people would be discharged efficiently.
Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced a countrywide mourning on Tuesday (today) against the killing of his party activist, Haq Nawaz, in Faisalabad during a clash with PML-N workers.
He was addressing his party workers at D-Type Colony Chowk here late Monday evening. He said PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had been ruling Pakistan for the last 30 years but now the people had woken up and they would not be swayed by hollow slogans of such leaders who did nothing during their long tenures.
He said that the nation had changed and would face all kind of oppression in an effective manner.
He strongly condemned the killing of the PTI worker at Novelty Bridge in Faisalabad and police baton-charge on his party workers who were protesting in front of Rana Sanaullah house. He said he would also stage such protests in Lahore and Karachi. He said the killers of 12 innocent Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers had not so far been arrested.
PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad also spoke on the occasion and announced that PTI and its affiliated parties would also perform Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza of Haq Nawaz alias Husnain.
Meanwhile, in a statement, PTI Chairman Imran Khan dared the government to stop them from staging peaceful protests in Lahore while strongly condemning the alleged violence on his supporters in Faisalabad.
He contended that remaining peaceful did not mean that PTI could not put up a fight.Imran vehemently condemned the attacks on Geo media persons and its DSNG van in the industrial city earlier in the day.
The PTI chief maintained that his party had always agitated peacefully and believed that PML-N activists had attacked Geo team in the guise of his party workers to malign them.He contended that he and his party would in no way tolerate assault on media person of any media house and claimed his party workers were fully aware of this stance.
Online adds: The PTI chairman said his party was fighting for democracy. “In democracy, a peaceful protest is right of everyone. It’s responsibility of the state to protect a peaceful protest. But, instead, the rulers unleashed their Gullu Butts for bloodshed in Faisalabad,” he said, while speaking to reporters at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad before leaving for Faisalabad.
“Our crime is that we demand justice,” Khan said, and vowed to get an FIR registered in Faisalabad.“A man was opening fire on the PTI activists while the law enforcing agencies were acting as silent spectators,” he added.
Imran quoted former law minister Rana Sanaullah as saying that he would deal with all of them.“I am going to Faisalabad where I will file an FIR against them (referring to rulers),” said the PTI chairman.
He said the government attacked Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) activists in Model Town, Lahore, and his party supporters were attacked in Jhelum, Gujranwala and other cities.“They are a product of military dictators. Where were they when former president General (R) Pervez Musharraf was in power,” he asked.
He also said ‘Plan C’ was introduced to pressurise the federal government to probe rigging in the 2013 elections. He demanded acceptance of his legal demands. Imran said if the rulers thought of PTI supporters as “Burgers and Singing activists,” they should think twice before confronting them in Lahore.
Meanwhile, PTI workers staged protest rallies in different cities such as Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Lahore, Kasur, Jhelum, and others.PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, PML-Q leaders Ch Shujaat Hussain, Ch Pervaiz Elahi, MQM chief Altaf Hussain, JI amir Sirajul Haq, Central President Minority Wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Sajid Ishaq and others condemned the Faisalabad incident.
Rs5m bounty for clue to Faisalabad shooter
LAHORE: The Punjab government has announced a Rs five million bounty for anyone who assists it in arresting the person involved in a firing incident in Faisalabad on Monday. According to a handout issued here, the amount will be given on providing information leading to the identification and arrest of the person involved in the Faisalabad firing incident.