At least 50 people, reportedly the workers of PML-N and supporters of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, were injured during clashes with police in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The clashes erupted during the rallies held in support of Sharifs after their arrest from the Lahore airport upon their arrival in the country on Friday.
“At least 50 people including 20 policemen have been injured during clashes between PML-N workers, police and rangers mostly in Lahore and some adjoining districts in Punjab,” PTI quoted Punjab police spokesman Niyab Haider as saying.
The National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan arrested Nawaz and his daughter, convicted in the Evenfield properties corruption case, and shifted them to Sahala Rest House in Rawalpindi.
Nawaz and Maryam have been sentenced to 10 years and seven years in jail, respectively, by an accountability court in the corruption case.
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The clashes between police and Nawaz Sharif supports erupted at the Joray Pul, some five km away from Lahore airport after the authorities stopped the PML-N rally. The protesters resorted to stone pelting on police and rangers, prompting them to fire tear gas shells to disperse them.
“It was not understandable as why the PML-N workers were pressing ahead to get to the airport despite the fact that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were arrested at the airport and flown to Islamabad on a jet,” the Punjab police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Auranzeb criticised the police action against her party workers and supporters and demanded the immediate release of party workers detained ahead of Sharif’s arrival.
“Thousands of our workers stopped at different entry points of Lahore who were coming from other parts of Lahore to join a rally here to welcome Nawaz and Maryam. We demand immediate release of its workers after the court directive,” PTI quoted Auranzeb as saying.
The Lahore High Court on Friday ordered the release of over 370 PML-N workers who were detained ahead of its Lahore rally.