Police at Imran’s doorstep; PTI supporters launch massive resistance against arrest

| Updated: 15 March, 2023 11:59 am IST

Fierce clashes broke out between police and PTI supporters on Tuesday in Lahore, Pakistan after Islamabad police reached ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence at Zaman Park to arrest him.

The Islamabad police team that arrived to arrest Imran Khan on Tuesday faced fierce resistance from PTI supporters, who assembled at Zaman Park to resist the arrest of their chairman Imran Khan.

As police closed in to arrest Imran, the official Twitter handle of the party urged supporters and workers to gather outside the residence and ‘remain peaceful’. Scores of PTI supporters assembled at Zaman Park and barricaded themselves outside Imran’s residence to block the advancing police from making the arrest.

The intense stand-off escalated into violence after the police almost reached the gates of the PTI chief’s Zaman Park residence from where it was forced to retreat.

For more than 11 hours now PTI workers have engaged Islamabad police who are aided by their Punjab counterparts and later Rangers personnel in pitched battles that continued throughout the night, till this morning.

The protesters pelted stones at police, damaged public property, and set tyres and chairs on fire prompting an aggressive response from the police who used tear gas shells and baton charge to disperse the crowd.

As the protestors clashed with police at Zaman Park, Imran Khan in a short video message, urged his supporters to come out for real freedom as police had reached out to arrest him. “They think that after my arrest, the nation will fall asleep but you have to prove them wrong,” he said.

Subsequently, hundreds of PTI supporters assembled on the streets of Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi. They fought pitched battles with the police.

As the clashes ensued many vehicles including police vans and water cannons were damaged by the protesters.

Reportedly, the protesters set chairs in the camps on fire to resist the police’s crackdown. As the situation intensified further and police contingents closed in on the residence, Rangers’ help was also sought by the Punjab government.

Footage of tear gas clouds and shells from inside the premises, and rooftops was also shared by PTI.

During the crackdown, dozens of workers were injured and taken into custody. As per reports, at least 30 policemen, including DIG Operations Islamabad Shahzad Bukhari were also injured.

The authorities have snapped the electricity supply and internet services in the area.

The ding-dong battle between the police and PTI workers still continues outside Zaman Park till the filing of this report.

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