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Imran, others charged with terrorism following clashes at PTI rally

On Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and other party leaders were charged in connection with yesterday’s clashes at the former ruling party’s rally, which claimed the life of one PTI worker.

The first information report (FIR) was filed at the Race Course police station under the anti-terrorism act (ATA), murder, attempted murder, and other offenses.

PTI leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, Farukh Habib, Hassan Niazi, and others, were accused of “threatening national security agencies” and “brick by brick” destroying the government and its institutions.

Police forms committee

The Punjab IG has directed the formation of a two-member committee comprised of DIG Elite Police Force Sadiq Ali and SSP IAB Lahore Imran Kishwar to investigate Wednesday’s police clashes with PTI workers outside Zaman Park.

The order was issued to “ascertain facts, ensure transparency, and determine the cause of death and property loss” during the incident.

The Punjab Inspector General ordered a fact-finding investigation to determine the circumstances and situation that led to a gathering of political workers, including the gathering’s legal status.

Furthermore, the committee will look into what circumstances led to the clashes between police and PTI workers, including the start and end times of the clashes.

The IG demanded the total number of protesters and police officers injured, as well as information about the death of PTI worker Bilal Ali.

The investigation team will collect witness statements as well as CCTV footage and video clips of the incident. Within three days, a report will be submitted to the Punjab Inspector General.

The incident

A day earlier, Lahore police used force to disperse a PTI rally, killing one supporter and injuring dozens more.

According to PTI, the deceased, Ali Bilal alias Zil-e-Shah, died as a result of police torture. Two deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), one station house officer (SHO), and eight constables were injured while maintaining law and order, according to the police.

To mark the start of its election campaign, PTI announced a rally from Zaman Park to Data Darbar. Initially, Imran was supposed to lead the rally. However, the district administration has prohibited public gatherings.

The scuffle started when police moved to the Zaman Park area, near PTI chief’s residence, to prevent party workers from advancing towards Mall Road.

PTI workers, on the other hand, moved to resist the police advance, carrying clubs and sticks. To disperse them, police used heavy tear gas shelling, baton charges, and water cannons.

Footage from the clashes, which was shared on social media by both sides, showed police using force against PTI workers. A large number of protestors were also apprehended by police, and several vehicles on both sides were damaged.

“At least 11 policemen, including two DSPs and one SHO, were injured in PTI activists’ torture,” said Lahore Police Spokesperson Syed Mubashir Hassan. He also stated that two officers were seriously injured and were taken to the General Hospital in critical condition.

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