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Double murder sparks violent protest near Data Darbar

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A bus damaged by the people protesting the double murder near Data Darbar. — White Star
A bus damaged by the people protesting the double murder near Data Darbar. — White Star

LAHORE: Scores of people on Friday took to the streets near Data Darbar after two persons were murdered by armed motorcyclists in the area.

An angry mob of hundreds of people armed with clubs damaged several vehicles, blocked the track of Metro bus and forcibly shut down markets.

The situation got worse when the anti-riot police reached the site and tried to disperse the protesters by force.

The protesters scattered in groups and blocked many roads, throwing traffic out of gear; the area witnessed queues of vehicles as far as four kilometres from Lower Mall to Minar-i-Pakistan.

They also burnt tyres and shouted slogans against the local police, holding it responsible for the murders.

According to initial information, two groups first scuffled over the issue of maintaining their hold in the area. Later, they returned with weapons and opened fire on each other, while the locals took shelter.

During the armed clash, which continued for half an hour, Arshad and Arif died on the spot while three others were injured.

Locals alerted Rescue 1122 who rushed the injured persons to a hospital where the condition of one of them was stated to be serious.

The police tried to disperse the protesters and negotiate with them, but to no avail.

At the time of filing this report, the protesters had started marching towards the inspector general of police’s office.

Heavy contingents of police were called to control the law and order situation in the area.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2018