LAHORE: At least one worker of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) died in Punjab's Multan district after succumbing to his injuries sustained during a clash in Bhakkar with members of law enforcement agencies.
The PAT worker was injured in Bhakkar and was shifted to Multan's Nishtar Hospital where he died.
A number of policemen were reportedly injured in clashes with Awami Tehrik workers across Punjab.
55 policemen injured in Gujranwala clash
At least 55 policemen were injured in clashes with PAT workers in Gujranwala and were being provided medical treatment in the district headquarters hospital.
Eight out of the 55 injured were in a critical condition.
The injured policemen include high-ranking police officials.
After the clash, the Awami Tehrik workers set off for Lahore for the August 10 Youm-i-Shuhada. The workers also left a trail of vehicles set ablaze.
A PAT official also claimed that at least one female worker died and 16 other party members were injured due to firing.
The clashes started when workers faced obstacles on their way on Qila Chand Bypass, Toll plaza, Aimenabad turn and Sadhuki where police personnel had placed containers to block the way.
During the movement, a clash erupted between policemen and PAT workers with policemen firing tear gas shells and baton-charging Qadri’s supporters.
Protestors broke windows and damaged vehicles of police and set motorcycles on fire.
Three policemen taken hostage by PAT workers in Lahore
Three policemen were taken hostage by PAT workers in Lahore on Saturday.
The Awami Tehrik workers said they will take more policemen hostage if “provoked” and demanded the release of their arrested colleagues in exchange for the policemen. .
Police personnel in custody of PAT members said they were going to their duty points when Awami Tehrik workers ambushed them, snatching away their arms as well as other possessions.
No policeman was currently on duty outside the Minhajul Quran’s secretariat and Qadri’s residence.
15 policemen taken hostage in Jhelum
Moreover, in Jhelum's Pind Dadan Khan town, PAT workers were holding 15 police personnel hostage following a clash.
The policemen were taken hostage after the workers thwarted the barriers fixed to restrict their movement in the area.
Police had also fired tear gas shells on protesters due to which several demonstrators became unconscious.
The clashes continued periodically between workers and protesters.
The developments come as a showdown between law-enforcement personnel and the PAT began on Friday — much before it was expected — when hundreds of club-wielding PAT workers attempted to break through the police cordon and remove barricades put around the Model Town locality housing Tahirul Qadri’s residence and offices.
Responding to Qadri’s call made while talking to media earlier in the day in which he had asked the people to take to the streets for a final push to oust the rulers, activists from various towns across Punjab tried to reach Lahore.
Clashes between activists and police took place in Faisalabad, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Khushab, Okara and Sargodha after authorities were asked not to allow any caravan to reach the provincial capital.
In Mianwali and Sargodha, policemen, including a DSP, were taken hostage by protesters.
A police station was set on fire in Khushab and arms and other government property were looted from one in Sargodha.
On Friday, Qadri had claimed that two activists, one of them identified as Abul Hameed, had died of gunshot wounds in Bhakkar and Khushab.
— Hasnain Zaidi from Multan, Iqbal Mirza from Gujranwala and Arif Malik from Lahore contributed to reporting