Eight commandos arrested for killing 11 Qadari supporters

Lahore police have arrested eight commandos in connection with the alleged killing of 11 supporters, including two women, of Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri here last month.

PTI| Updated: Jul 11, 2014, 21:47 PM IST

Lahore: Lahore police have arrested eight commandos in connection with the alleged killing of 11 supporters, including two women, of Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri here last month.

The Joint Investigation Team - constituted to probe the killing - arrested eight Elite Force commandos yesterday for allegedly opening straight fire on the protesters.

"Eight police commandos have been taken into custody for their alleged involvement in straight firing on Qadri`s supporters. We have got sufficient evidence against them for being involved in opening straight fire on the protesters," a senior official told PTI.
He said the commandos were seen shooting at protesters in CCTV footage handed over to the JIT by the Qadri`s men.

The official further said more police commandos would be quizzed in the wake of the statements of the arrested ones.

Eleven persons, including two women, were killed and over 100 wounded on June 17 when police attacked Qadri`s headquarters in Model Town to remove barricades from his residence and offices.

Qadri returned to Pakistan on June 23 and held an All-Party Conference to demand justice for the killings, besides announcing launching a movement soon to oust the Nawaz government.

He had named Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz, some members of their cabinets and the senior police officers in his application filed with the Lahore police.
However, police said they cannot act on their own on Qadri`s application unless directed by the court.
Opposition parties had also demanded resignation of Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for "ordering police to shoot the protesters."

Shahbaz had sacked Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah instead and promised an independent investigation into the incident.

A joint investigation team comprising senior officials of police, Inter Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence has been constituted to probe the Model Town tragedy.

A one-member judicial commission has also been set up to investigate the matter.