Pakistan protest: 2 killed, 450 injured in police crackdown on Imran Khan's anti-government protesters

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Updated: Aug 31 2014, 19:02pm hrs
Imran KhanImran Khan(C), the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, addresses supporters during the Revolution March in Islamabad. (Reuters)
At least two persons were killed and about 450 others injured overnight when police baton- charged hundreds of anti-government protesters led by Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri who marched towards Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's residence here demanding his resignation.

The clashes started after Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Khan and Awami Tehrik chief Qadri yesterday ordered their hundreds of supporters to shift the protest venue in the front of the residence of Prime Minister Sharif to force him to quit.

Police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters outside the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building.

Hundreds of protesters entered the lawn of parliament but they were pushed back at the main entrance of the building where army was deployed.

About 450 injured were brought to Polyclinic and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, the two premier state-run hospitals, a government official said.

A police official said over 70 policemen and five Frontier Constabulary personnel were injured in clashes with protesters armed with sticks, catapults and stones.

Dr Ayesha Isani of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital told reporters that a man brought to the hospital late last night had passed away.

She confirmed that earlier a man was brought dead to the hospital who had drowned by falling into a trench.

So far the protesters failed to break into the security cordon and reach the PM House.

Khan was present in his container mounted on a truck and frequently addressed his supporters. He said he will register cases against the Sharif brothers and interior minister Nisar Ali Khan for ordering crackdown on protesters.

His party leader Pervaiz Khattak said that they will not stop until Sharif resigns, as the protest entered 18th day.

Qadri today emerged from his container and addressed the supporters in husky voice which he said was due to effect tear gas. "I salute my sons and daughters who won today," he said without explaining.

He promised to make another speech later on and vowed to continue to struggle till final victory of "revolution".

Fearing backlash from protesters, roads leading to Prime Minister Sharif's Lahore residence, where he is currently residing, have been blocked and heavy contingent of police deployed. His brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is also living there. MORE PTI SH MZ ZH AKJ ZH 08311322