Lahore police force entry to Imran’s house

LAHORE: Officers from Lahore police kicked down the door of Imran Khan’s house in the Zaman Park neighbourhood and arrested over a dozen supporters of his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party on Saturday, after the former prime minister headed to the Toshakhana hearing in Islamabad.

The police offensive followed the volatile stand-off between his supporters and security forces outside his home.

“Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum [Khan’s spouse] is alone,” he said in a tweet.

“Under what law are they doing this? This is part of the London plan where commitments were made to bring absconder Nawaz Sharif to power as quid pro quo for agreeing to one appointment [sic],” he added, apparently referring to the appointment in November last year of Gen. Asim Munir as the military chief.

Police entered his property after Khan arrived in the capital for the court appearance. Earlier this week, police and Khan’s supporters clashed outside his home for over 24 hours earlier during the arrest attempt.

In a statement before the offensive, police announced the imposition of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) — which prohibits all kinds of public gatherings — asking those gathered outside Khan’s residence to disperse.

They subsequently entered the property, after smashing down the main gate, and took a number of party workers into custody. According to Khan’s sister, Uzma Khan, the officials entered the property without a court-approved warrant.

On the other hand, police claimed, without evidence, they were fired on and attacked with petrol bombs. They also claimed to have found material used to produce Molotov cocktails, a glass bottle containing a flammable substance.

A police contingent had been deployed to the residential neighbourhood, following an agreement a day earlier reached between the administration and party regarding the search at Zaman Park.

Reportedly, the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted a request made by the chief of Punjab police, Usman Anwar, to search Khan’s residence as part of an investigation into the clashes.

The PTI has accused the government of targeting its workers and using excessive force against peaceful protesters.


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