Faisalabad: At least two people were killed and several others injured when violent clashes broke out between the supporters of ruling PML-N and opposition Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI), ahead of Imran Khan's call for a 'shutdown' of the Faisalabad city to protest alleged rigging in last year's general elections.
The dead and injured are said to be the workers of Imran Khan's PTI. The PTI workers had gathered at the Clock Tower intersection in Faisalabad city, some 140 kilometres from Lahore, on the call of their leader to shutdown the city to demand an impartial probe into allegations of mass rigging in 2013 general elections.
According to eye witness sources, the clashes broke out after the ruling PML-N activists armed with weapons and sticks also reached at the Clock Tower where a large number of PTI supporters had already gathered.
Khan is also scheduled to arrive in Faisalabad later on Monday and address his thousands of supporters. Police present there acted as a 'silent spectator' and did not take any action to disperse warring crowds. TV footages showed a man firing straight at the PTI protesters. PTI spokesperson Sharin Mizari said the man involved in straight firing was a guard of PML-N cabinet member Rana Snaullah. "The PML-N workers had official patronage therefore the police did not intervene," she said.
While PTI student wing president Farukh Habib claimed the death of two young PTI activists - Sajid and Aslam - Faisalabad police chief Sohail Tajik confirmed one dead. "Police have controlled the situation after a clash between the PTI and PML-N workers," he said. Meanwhile, Khan has condemned the brutal action against his party workers. "Our protest is peaceful but the government has unleashed its Gullus (goons) on the PTI workers," he said.
The Faislabad 'shut-down' is part of the 'Plan C' Khan announced to force the government to constitute a judicial commission comprising the Supreme Court judges and officials of ISI and military intelligence to probe the allegations of mass rigging in 2013 general elections. According to 'Plan C', the PTI will move to Karachi and Lahore before shutting down the whole country on December 18.
Khan has been holding a sit-in for the last 115 days in Islamabad to press the government to hold an independent audit into 2013 election. PML-N legislator Talal Chaudhry said Imran Khan wanted 'dead bodies' to do politics. "Now he got a few, to get steam for his dead campaign against the government," he said. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government was considering holding talks with the PTI after seeing today's protest in Faisalabad.
Updated Date: Dec 08, 2014 18:42:38 IST