Punjab police barge into Imran's Zaman Park residence
LAHORE: Hours after PTI Chairman Imran Khan hit the road to attend the Toshakhana case hearing in the capital on Saturday, Punjab Police barged into his Zaman Park residence and arrested over 20 party workers for allegedly resorting to violence to obstruct the course of justice.
The police and PTI supporters recently fought pitched battles outside the former prime minister's home in Lahore, wounding several on both sides when the former tried to arrest Khan.
However, a police operation was launched at Imran Khan's residence this morning to clear the area of 'security camps' established by the party.
“Section 144 is imposed, you are kindly advised to disperse,” police said in an announcement before barging into Imran Khan's residence.
Television footage showed police entering the Khan's eight-canal house after using an excavator to break the main gate. A number of PTI workers were also taken into custody.
The law enforcers also claimed they were fired upon and targeted with Molotov cocktails from inside the Khan's house and petrol bombs from inside Imran Khan's residence.
A heavy contingent of the police was deployed in the area after an agreement was reached between the administration and the PTI on Friday regarding the search in Zaman Park.
An anti-terror court granted permission to conduct the search inside Imran Khan's residence. "Search warrant is issued as per Section 47 Cr.P.C. and Incharge Investigation/Investigating Officer is directed to accompany a lady police officer not below the rank of Inspector at the time of search of a requisite house in accordance with the law."
During the search operation, the police recovered material used to produce Molotov cocktails.
‘Bushra Begum is alone’
Condemning the police action, PTI chief Imran Khan said the police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone.
“Under what law are they doing this?” he asked.
Meanwhile Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone. Under what law are they doing this? This is part of London Plan where commitments were made to bring absconder Nawaz Sharif to power as quid pro quo for agreeing to one appointment.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 18, 2023
Khan insisted this was 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.
چیئرمین عمران خان کا خصوصی بیان۔— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 18, 2023
'Action taken against miscreants'
Meanwhile, Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir said that Molotov cocktails were thrown at police and the operation is launched against elements involved in violent activities.
"No-go areas are being removed. The police action will end in an hour," Mir added.
The police had reached an agreement with the PTI — submitted to the Lahore High Court (LHC) — in which both sides finalised the terms of conditions related to holding rallies, security of the PTI chief and other legal matters.
As per the details, the PTI will cooperate with the administration to implement the arrest warrants and search warrants.
The PTI has nominated Senator Shibli Faraz and former state minister Ali Muhammad Khan as focal persons while SSP Imran Kishwar will represent the police for communication. The PTI will cooperate with the police for an investigation in cases registered over clashes that occurred on March 14 and 15.
It has also been decided that the PTI will hold a public gathering on Monday instead of Sunday while it would contact the administration for permission. The PTI will also inform the administration five days before holding the rally.
The government will implement the guidelines formulated for the security of the PTI chief and the party would submit a request for security to the authorities concerned.