At least four workers of the political party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were killed and hundreds of others including policemen were injured in the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Eastern Punjab province of Pakistan on Saturday, the local media reported.
The clashes among the police personnel and PAT workers begun on Friday when a large number of workers attempted to break through the police cordon and remove barricades put around the PAT chief, Dr. Tahirul Qadri's residence in Lahore city.
Police has cordoned off the area on the orders of the government to prevent the PAT from organizing 'Martyrs' Day' on Aug 10 to commemorate the activists killed in a police raid on June 17.
The clashes between activists and police took place in Faisalabad, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Khushab, Okara and Sargodha cities after police were ordered not to allow any caravan to reach the provincial capital. Many policemen were also reported taken hostages by the protestors in different cities and a police station was set on fire in Khushab city.
Police has closed all roads leading to Lahore and all cities of Punjab province and federal capital Islamabad has been facing shortage of petrol.
A PAT leader, Raheeq Abbasi accused that the workers got enraged when police misbehaved at barricades with women activists going to Dr Qadri's residence. He also said that over seven PAT workers have been killed in the clashes and put the number of arrested workers at 5,000.
Punjab Law Minister, Rana Mashhood in a press conference said that the 'assailants' in Lahore had been hired from far-flung areas of the province. He said that a case was registered against Dr Qadri on treason and terrorism charges.