Tear gas shells, burnt tyres and vehicles litter the roads in Lahore’s Zaman Park area which has turned into a battleground after supporters of Imran Khan engaged in pitched battles lasting over 11 hours with police personnel to stop them from arresting the ousted Pakistan premier, resulting in injuries to dozens to policemen.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and police clashed on Tuesday in Lahore’s Zaman Park area after a contingent of the Islamabad police, along with armoured vehicles, reached party chief Khan’s Lahore home to arrest him after a non-bailable warrant was issued in the ongoing Toshakhana (gift depository) case against him.
“Clearly ‘arrest’ claim was mere drama because real intent is to abduct & assassinate. From tear gas & water cannons, they have now resorted to live firing. I signed a surety bond last evening, but the DIG refused to even entertain it. There is no doubt of their mala fide intent,” Khan tweeted on Wednesday.
The police, with their riot gear on and backed by Rangers, closed in on 70-year-old Khan’s home in order to comply with the court orders to arrest him in the Toshakhana case.
Fearing the worst, various PTI leaders – including Khan himself – appealed to party workers to rush to Zaman Park, where they served as human shields and stood between Khan’s residence and the police.