LAHORE: The police on Monday allegedly trashed and baton charged protesters, including women, who were staging a demo by placing the dead body of a young woman on a road, after she was killed during crossfire between two rival groups in Shahdara area.

The protesters, chanting slogans against police, said the deceased woman, Ayesha Nazir (24), died after being hit by a bullet during crossfire between two rival groups who had been resorting to firing in the area since long.

They alleged that despite repeated complaints by locals against the rival armed groups, the local police turned a deaf ear, resulting in the killing of the young woman.

They said Ayesha was going to market when the rival groups’ men opened fire on each other following a scuffle, and a bullet hit her, resulting in her death.

The locals alleged that a delayed response by police resulted in the woman’s death and demanded action against those responsible for the incident.

Because of the protesters blocking the main road, a massive traffic jam occurred there for many hours.

Eyewitnesses say that a large number of police personnel led by the DSP concerned reached the spot and held negotiations with protesters to convince them to clear the road for traffic. However, the protesters refused to budge.

After failure of the dialogue, the police baton charged the protesters, including women, to disperse them.

Later, the police high-ups engaged the elders of the area and managed to disperse the protesters, assuring them of action against those responsible for the woman’s death.

The police shifted the woman’s body to the city morgue for an autopsy and dispatched teams for the arrests of the armed men who resorted to firing.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2024

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