LAHORE, Islamabad (AP) — Pakistani police stormed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence within the jap metropolis of Lahore on Saturday and arrested 61 folks amid tear fuel and clashes between Khan’s supporters and police, officers mentioned.
Senior police officer Suhail Sukhera, who led the operation in an upscale Lahore neighborhood, mentioned police acted to take away a barricade erected by members of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf occasion and his defiant supporters. He mentioned they blocked the lanes round Khan’s residence with concrete blocks, felled timber, tents and a parked truck.
Khan was not within the house, having traveled to Islamabad to look earlier than a choose to face fees he bought state items whereas in workplace and hid his belongings. The choose postponed that listening to till March 30.
Sukhera mentioned baton-wielding Khan supporters tried to withstand police by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and a person on the roof of Khan’s residence opened hearth. At the very least three cops had been injured.
Sukhera mentioned police broke open the principle door of Khan’s residence and located computerized weapons, Molotov cocktails, iron rods and batons utilized in assaults on police through the week. Sukhera mentioned that contained in the sprawling residence, unlawful constructions had been erected to shelter folks concerned in assaults on police which have injured dozens of officers.
Inside Minister Rana Sanaullah mentioned later that police would do a whole search of Khan’s house, the place they discovered bunkers and suspected extra unlawful weapons and ammunition had been hidden. He mentioned in Islamabad, Khan and lots of of his supporters had been armed.
Witnesses in Lahore mentioned police tried to disperse Khan’s supporters by firing tear fuel and chased them to a number of properties within the Zaman Park neighborhood. Khan’s lawyer appeared in an Islamabad court docket on Saturday after a prime court docket Friday suspended Khan’s arrest warrant, giving him a reprieve to journey to Islamabad and face fees within the graft case with out being detained.
Khan had been holed up at his home in Lahore since Tuesday after failing to look at an earlier listening to within the case. His supporters hurled rocks and clashed with baton-wielding police for 2 days to guard the previous premier from arrest.
Khan’s motorcade arrived Saturday close to the federal judicial complicated in Islamabad, the place his supporters additionally clashed with police who prevented them from coming into the complicated. The enraged Khan supporters threw rocks at police who responded by lobbing tear fuel canisters to disperse them.
Khan’s lawyer, Babar Awan, filed an utility for Khan’s exemption from look in court docket amid particular circumstances.
Legislation Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar condemned Khan for not turning himself over to police and never showing in court docket Saturday regardless of arriving on the judicial complicated gate. He accused Khan of utilizing his protesting supporters to keep away from indictment.
Khan’s supporter set two police automobiles and a number of other bikes outdoors the judicial complicated on hearth whereas dispersing, based on the legislation minister.
Khan, throughout his highway journey to Islamabad, mentioned in a video message that police had damaged into his residence in Lahore whereas his spouse was alone on the house. He condemned the motion and demanded that these accountable be punished.
Khan’s PTI occasion secretary-general, Asad Umar, in a letter to Pakistan’s chief justice famous that police waited till Khan was en path to Islamabad to storm his Lahore residence. He mentioned the “doorways and partitions have been razed to the bottom” and greater than 40 folks on the house had been arrested.
Khan, now the opposition leader, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament final April. He’s accused of promoting state items whereas in workplace and concealing belongings, fees he denies. It’s one in a string of circumstances that the previous cricket star turned Islamist politician has been going through since his ouster.
The 70-year-old Khan, who has referred to as for early elections in Parliament, has claimed that his elimination from energy was a part of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and america. Each Washington and Sharif’s authorities have denied the allegation.
Related Press author Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed.