LAHORE/GUJRAT: A recent high-level security meeting discussed with great concern a report that the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan men had used sub-machine guns (SMGs) targeting policemen during Kamoke violence.
A senior police officer told Dawn a mobile phone footage which recorded the disturbing scene was also presented in the meeting, showing five TLP armed men using as many SMGs and firing straight at policemen who were running for shelter.
The police report said the armed men fired 80 rounds of SMGs some of which were recovered from the scene and sent for forensic analysis.
Other incidents of armed attacks on the law enforcers were also recorded at the same point where two policemen died from multiple bullet wounds while 16 others sustained injuries from shots fired by TLP using lethal weapons.
“It shocked police high-ups from where the TLP was getting weapons and training to use them,” the police official said.
He said all the participants of the meeting had reached the point that the TLP had been turned into a ‘militant group’ and the government must review its policy seriously towards this outfit.
To a question, the official said the Punjab police high-ups in the meeting also discussed the possibility of involvement of some hostile agencies working against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the TLP marchers resumed their journey from Gujranwala city on Friday, reaching near Wazirabad till the filing of this report at 9pm.
The participants, who were said to be between 5000 to 7000 in number, were mainly traveling on buses, cars, motorbikes and chanting slogans in favour of their demands.
It was a smooth journey for the marchers on Friday as police removed its pickets along the GT Road from Gujranwala to Wazirabad.
Official sources said that the pickets and blockades had been removed in that particular section to avoid any violent clash in the urban portion of the central Punjab so that the urban population could not be disturbed or affected by the teargas shelling, stone pelting etc.
Gujrat is TLP’s next destination on Saturday where a major clash between the personnel of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and TLP workers is being anticipated at Chenab toll plaza on GT Road where trenches have been dug up and at least 100 containers have also been parked at all the bridges with the ultimate goal to block the march.
Rangers have already taken over the command of the security arrangements. A banner carrying warning message from Punjab Rangers has been displayed just 500 meters ahead of the Chenab toll plaza, marking a `red line’ for protesters not to cross it otherwise they will have to face the consequences.
“Attention: Beyond this line, the responsibility for law and order lies with Pakistan Rangers (Punab), who have been given the authority to open fire at the miscreants so all people are strictly warned to return to their homes” reads the warning message .
Punjab Inspector General of Police Sardar Rao stayed for a night in Gujrat city after he inspected the security arrangements at Chenab toll plaza on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2021