HomeLatest News & UpdatesFighting rages in Zaman Park as Imran Khan defies arrest IV News
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Fighting rages in Zaman Park as Imran Khan defies arrest IV News

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Supporters of PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan repeatedly clashed with police overnight and Wednesday morning as he was detained at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, despite police efforts to arrest him, 24NewsHD TV reported.

A large group of policemen clashed with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers near Imran Khan’s house throughout the night, firing tear gas and dodging stones thrown by an angry crowd.

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The PTI workers also pelted stones, petrol bombs and wielded batons against policemen including Rangers personnel who were called in to support the police force leading the operation.

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According to IGP Punjab Dr Anwar Usman, as many as 30 policemen including DIG Operations Islamabad Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari and DPO Sheikhupura Zahid Nawaz were injured in the clash with PTI activists.

A fresh contingent of police, elite forces and Rangers reached Zaman Park on Wednesday as authorities suspended internet services in the areas.

PTI workers broke side fences and lights during the operation and also destroyed roadside plants on Mall Road. They also set fire to traffic wardens’ motorcycles, water cannons and fire engines.

The PTI wave workers also pelted stones at the Rangers personnel and blocked the canal bridge on Mall Road from both sides.

Imran Khan Video Message

Imran Khan released a video shortly before dawn, in which he sat in front of the national flag and the PTI at a desk decorated with tear gas canisters.

“I am telling the whole nation today that they are ready once again, they will come back,” he said. “They will tear our people to tears and do other such things, but you should know that they have no justification for it.”

A video circulating on social media – widely shared by official PTI accounts – showed some bloodied supporters and others struggling to deal with tear gas.

A PTI official tweeted that there was an “urgent need” for first aid boxes in the Zaman Park neighborhood.

The party’s account also shows a video of tear gas canisters landing inside Imran Khan’s garden, but the police did not appear to breach the gate or wall.

Imran Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote last year, and has been embroiled in a series of legal battles as he fights for an early election and his return to office.

“The way the police are attacking our people… there is no precedent for this,” Imran Khan said, adding “Water cannons, tear gas… they fired inside the house where the servants and women were.”

It is the second time in recent weeks that police have been sent from Islamabad to Imran Khan’s home in Lahore to serve an arrest warrant after he skipped several court dates in a corruption case due to security concerns.

“We are here basically to enforce the orders and arrest him,” Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari, Islamabad’s Assistant Superintendent of Police, told reporters outside the PTI chief’s residence yesterday.

Police officers were met by hundreds of Imran Khan supporters, some wielding sticks and throwing stones, draped in red and green PTI flags.

Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the crowd as they tried to clear a path to Imran Khan’s house, which held a sign displaying the arrest warrant for the 71-year-old opposition leader.

PTI Deputy Leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters on Tuesday that “we want to be peaceful”.

Qureshi insisted that the police should hand over the arrest warrant to him, saying he would “try to find a solution to avoid bloodshed”.

Imran Khan has been taken to court to answer allegations that he did not declare the gifts he received during his time as prime minister, or the profits from their sale.

The first attempt by officers to detain the one-time cricket superstar was foiled because he was “reluctant to surrender,” police said, without giving further details.

Imran Khan has pressured the coalition government that replaced him, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, through popular rallies and daily addresses.

Last year, he was shot in the leg during a protest rally, an assassination attempt he blamed on Shehbaz Sharif.

Reporters Irfan Malik, Zain Madni, Abid Chaudhry, Israr Ahmad and Usman Khadim Kamboh / Agencies


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