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Several PTI leaders, activists arrested in nationwide crackdown

PTI has claimed arrests of more than 70 activists and a few leaders amid ongoing police raids on the residences of PTI leaders and activists

KARACHI/LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad Police have carried out late Monday night raid at the homes of several PTI leaders and took into custody some leaders and scores of the activists a day ahead of Azadi March of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.

In Lahore, a policeman was shot dead during raid at the residence of a PTI activist.

Police crackdowns have been launched a day after the PTI announced its Azadi March from May 25 from Peshawar and warned the government against using force to stop the “Azadi March.”

In Karachi, police also carried out raids at the homes of the PTI leaders and took into custody some leaders and activists.

Meanwhile, former information minister said the government that it could arrest PTI leaders and workers if it wanted to, but it would not be in its favour.

PTI said around 73 workers have been arrested so far. During a raid on one of the PTI leader’s house in Lahore’s Model Town, police constable Kamal Ahmed was shot in the chest and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect fired the bullet from the rooftop of a house, police said. “…we are still investigating but we will not spare those involved [in the crime],” DIG Operations Lahore Captain (Retd) Muhammad Sohail Chaudhry said.

Meanwhile, despite Fawad’s warning of using force against the PTI ahead of the long march, police raided the houses of PTI leaders across Punjab and Islamabad.

The raids

Police raided Hammad Azhar’s house in Lahore, however, he was not present at his residence.

Lahore Police also raided the residence of PTI’s former information secretary, Farrukh Javed, but he escaped via his home’s back door, according to Geo News.

In Lahore’s Jauhar Town, PTI MPA Sadia Sohail said her house had also been raided. “Police violated the sanctity of the four walls of the house,” she claimed.

The house of another PTI leader in Lahore, Mehr Naeemullah Taj, was also raided. He alleged that police misbehaved with his family members and manhandled his employees.

Police raided the residences of PTI leaders Malik Ishtiaq and Yasir Gillani, but since they were also not present in their houses, no arrests could be made.

In Sialkot, the house of former special assistant to the prime minister on information Firdous Ashiq Awan, ex-provincial minister Chaudhry Ikhlaq, and PTI leader Tahir Hundli’s houses were raided.

Sialkot Police — with a heavy contingent — also raided the residence of Usman Dar. However, he was not present at his home, officials said.

PTI’s Sahiwal district president, Rana Aftab, and another PTI leader Kanwar Imran also claimed that their houses were raided.

Sheikhupura Police raided the house of Mian Zafar, but could not arrest him as he was not present there.

PTI leader Rana Sajid from Kamoke also said that his house was raided, but he wasn’t present there either. “Police detained two of my employees, but later released them.”

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Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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