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HAMID was knocked down by a jeep and two other vehicles ran over him, according to witnesses.
HAMID was knocked down by a jeep and two other vehicles ran over him, according to witnesses.

GUJRAT: A 50-year-old man and a child were killed after being run over by vehicles in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s cavalcade on their way to Gujranwala on Friday.

Khalid Hussain, an elderly retired army soldier, was crossing the GT Road near Chak Peerana after offering Friday prayers when a vehicle in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s convoy hit him. Some people spotted him lying on the median with a head wound. He was buried in a graveyard in Chak Peerana in the evening

The death of a 12-year-old boy, run over by vehicles escorting Mr Sharif out of Lala Musa city, prompted a two-hour-long protest by the area residents who deman­ded stern action against those responsible for the death.

The tragic incident occurred as Mr Sharif’s procession left Lala Musa city. Hamid had been waiting along the GT Road, with his father Rehmat and an uncle, to welcome the procession.

Saad Rafique calls the child ‘first martyr in struggle to strengthen democracy’

According to eyewitnesses, soon after Mr Sharif’s vehicle left the reception site, a jeep carrying mobile-jamming equipment knocked down the boy close to the median. As the child fell, two vehicles of the Elite Force, part of the ex-premier’s security detail, ran over the child without stopping to check.

Despite a large number of Rescue-1122 ambulances in the cavalcade, none of the vehicles stopped for the child.

Finally, a young man hoisted the boy onto his motorcycle rickshaw and took him to a nearby private hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. The boy’s father fainted.

The deceased’s relatives and scores of other people blocked the GT Road in protest.

They were joined by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Madad Ali Shah of Kulewal Syedan and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Gujrat emir Tariq Saleem, who had joined the demonstration to express solidarity with the bereaved family.

A short while later, PML-N’s MPA Mian Tariq Mehmood of Dinga spoke to the child’s paternal uncle and assured him that justice would be done. The police then registered a case against an unidentified driver of an unidentified vehicle on the uncle’s complaint.

Gujrat Headquarters SP Maaz Zafar told Dawn that the protest was called off after the registration of the case.

The police would investigate the incident and ensure justice to the bereaved family, he added.

Addressing a public gathering in Gujrat, federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique termed the child ‘the first martyr in the struggle to strengthen democracy in Pakistan’.

He expressed sorrow over the death and said that PML-N workers had been asked to visit the grieving family.

While addressing a big rally in Gujranwala later in the evening, Mr Sharif announced that he would visit the boy’s family and offer his condolences.

Social media reaction

Twitter was abuzz with several hashtags protesting against the death of the 12-year-old. Shortly after the incident, Mr Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif tweeted:

“Heart bleeds for the little PMLN supporter who lost his life today. May Allah grant sabar to the family.”

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2017