PTI vows legal action against police officers who stormed Imran’s residence

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) announced the opposition party intends to register complaints against members of the police who conducted an “illegal operation” and resorted to violence while raiding the home of chairman Imran Khan in Lahore.

Lahore police stormed the former prime minister’s residence early on Saturday and arrested 61 people amid tear gas and clashes between Khan’s supporters and police.

Sohail Sukhera, deputy investigation chief who led the operation in the upscale Zaman Park neighbourhood, claimed police acted to remove a barricade erected by members of Khan’s party and his defiant supporters. He said they blocked the lanes around Khan’s residence with concrete blocks, felled trees, tents and a parked truck, apparently to prevent police from arresting Khan.

Khan was not in the home, having travelled to Islamabad to appear before a judge to face charges he sold state gifts while in office and hid his assets. The judge postponed that hearing until March 30.

Sukhera further claimed baton-wielding supporters of the former prime minister attempted to resist police by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and a man on the roof of Khan’s residence opened fire, but offered no evidence. At least three police officers were injured.

In a series of tweets, Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of the opposition party, expressed his disapproval of the raid and called for a meeting with the party’s legal team. He also said the police had violated the sanctity of Khan’s home and had even stolen items, including juice boxes.

He added the incident, along with other recent events, was contributing to the ongoing constitutional crisis in the country.

Chaudhry went on to emphasise that defying orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC) is unacceptable, and all police officers involved in the illegal operation and violence would face legal consequences.

Khan, during his road trip to Islamabad, Saturday said in a video message that police had broken into his residence in Lahore while his wife, Bushra Maneka, was alone at the home. He condemned the action and demanded that those responsible be punished.

Asad Umar, secretary-general of the party, in a letter to the chief justice, noted that police waited until Khan was en route to Islamabad to storm his Lahore residence. He said the “doors and walls have been razed to the ground” and more than 40 people at the home were arrested.


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