Lahore violence toll rises to 9

The death toll in the violent clashes between supporters of an influential Canada-based Pakistani cleric and Lahore police today rose to nine as one more victim of the riot succumbed to his injuries.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 19, 2014, 18:14 PM IST

Lahore: The death toll in the violent clashes between supporters of an influential Canada-based Pakistani cleric and Lahore police today rose to nine as one more victim of the riot succumbed to his injuries.

Jinnah Hospital Medical Superintendent Abdul Rauf confirmed the death of a 24-year-old man who was wounded when police and Tahirul Qadri`s supporters clashed over removing barricades near the cleric`s residence and office.

Lahore is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s home city.

"One more injured of the Lahore tragedy succumbed to his bullet injuries," Rauf told PTI.

The victim was an activist of Pakistan Awami Tahreek (PAT), a party founded by Qadri who last year lead an anti-corruption crusade before the polls.

Rauf said more than 50 people, having bullet injuries, were still under treatment at the hospital.

On Tuesday, eight persons, including a 15-year-old girl and a woman, were killed and 100 others wounded in the riot.

Meanwhile, a PML-N activist was today produced in a court here for allegedly smashing a number of vehicles of PAT activists during the violence.

He was captured by TV cameras smashing windowpanes of cars parked outside Qadri`s office. Footage from the cameras showed him leading policemen to attack PAT workers.

Lawyers thrashed the accused inside the court premises when he was brought there, leaving him unconscious. He was later shifted by the police to an undisclosed location.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, also brother of Prime Minister Nawaz, yesterday formed a one-member judicial panel chaired by Lahore High Court`s Justice Ali Baqar Najafi to probe the killings.

He today recorded the statements of Punjab Inspector General Police Mushtaq Sukhera and District Coordination Officer Cap (R) Muhammad Usman.

Qadri, who is due to reach Pakistan on June 23, has already rejected the commission, saying an independent probe will take place once the Sharif brothers are out of power.

"We will register FIR against Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif and all those responsible for the killing of the innocent people," he vowed.

Lahore police chief Chaudhry Shafique, Deputy Inspector General Rana Abdul Jabbar and Superintendent Police Tariq Aziz have been suspended following the incident.

Cases have been registered against 3,000 supporters of Qadri under murder and terrorism charges. Sixty of Qadri`s supporters have been arrested.