LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Federal ministers and PTI leaders are blaming each other in the aftermath of the murder of a policeman, who was gunned down during a raid in Lahore against PTI activists last night.
Kamal Ahmad, a police constable, was killed during an operation in Lahore’s Model Town locality late Monday night after an unidentified person opened fire on him, Lahore DIG Operations Sohail Chaudhry told reporters outside a hospital.
The raid coincided with the post-midnight police crackdown on PTI leaders’ residences, ahead of the party’s planned long march to Islamabad on March 25 (tomorrow).
DIG Chaudhry, without naming any political party, said the police was cracking down on activists who were taking the law into their own hands and doing hooliganism.
When the police party reached the home of an activist — Sajid Hussain, against whom the police filed an FIR afterwards — an unidentified person opened fire from its rooftop, the DIG said.
“A bullet hit the upper part of the constable’s chest, which is a very critical area. A lot of effort was made [to save him] but when we reached the hospital, he had become frail.”
The policeman later succumbed to his wounds, DIG Chaudhry said. He vowed that the person responsible for the firing would not be able to escape and raids were being conducted to arrest him.
An first information report (FIR) filed later notably does not mention the police operation was linked to the raids on PTI leaders, but does identify the alleged shooter.
The FIR stated that a police party, during a search operation in Model Town, rang the doorbell of Hussain’s house at 1:40am. Shortly afterwards, two “armed people”, identified as Sajid Hussain and Akrama Bukhari, appeared on the terrace and Hussain asked in a “threatening tone” why they (police) had come to his house late at night, it said.
The police party responded that they were conducting a search operation regarding tenancy, according to the FIR. However, Hussain and his son became angry and started “threatening the officials with dire consequences”.
“Hussain asked his son Bukhari to fire straight at the police party. Bukhari, with the intention of killing, fired straight at the police party. A bullet struck the chest of Constable Kamal Ahmad, who was standing outside the house.”
Hussain also fired at the police party and a bullet hit the government vehicle, the FIR stated. The constable died on the spot, it added.
The FIR was registered under Sections 302 (murder), 34 (common intention), 324 (attempt to murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 427 (causing damage) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act.
Both Hussain and his son Bukhari were arrested later, police said.
There were reports of late-night police action at the homes of former federal minister Hammad Azhar in Lahore, while the Lal Haveli residence of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed as well as the homes of Fayyazul Hasan Chohan and Ijaz Khan Jazi in Rawalpindi were also purportedly raided.
In addition, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry also claimed in a tweet that his home in Islamabad was under observation,