Lahore: Riots broke out on the streets of Pakistan following the revelation that double murder-accused CIA contractor Raymond Davis was released over a ‘blood-money’ deal, and hundreds of protesters attempted to attack the US Consulate building in Lahore on Wednesday evening.
Police wielded to batons, fired warning shots and resorted to tear-gas shelling to control the mob trying to attack the consulate, The Nation reports.
The police also badly tortured a reporting crew of a news channel while they were covering the protests live from the site.
Davis’ release sparked countrywide angry protests, and a large number of protesters- mostly belonging to religious and opposition political parties- converged outside the Lahore Press Club soon after the local media flashed the news.
Tehrik-e-Insaaf and Jamaat-i-Islami activists were leading the protests as they blocked the busy road by setting tyres on fire, creating a traffic mess in the highly sensitive and busy location of the city.
As the angry protesters tried to attack the US consulate, dozens of them sustained injuries as the police resorted to baton-charge to disperse the mob.
The surrounding of the press club turned into battlefield as the protesters- who were chanting full-throat slogans against the Pakistan government and US authorities, terming the release as an attack on the country’s sovereignty- pelted stones and water bottles at the policemen.
The mob also set the effigies of top politicians and US President Barack Obama on fire.
In the wake of similar massive protests in several other parts of Lahore, heavy police contingents have been deployed across the City, while armed patrolling has been intensified to keep the situation under control, police sources said.
First Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011, 11:16