Curfew imposed in Bhakkar after sectarian clashes

BHAKKAR: A curfew was imposed in Bhakkar and other restive districts on Saturday after yesterday’s sectarian clashes that claimed 11 lives.

Police officials said that the curfew which started from 10:00am will remain enforced until further orders in Bhakkar, Darya Khan, Kotla Jam, Panj Garain, and Kahawar Kalan as these districts are most vulnerable to violence.

According to the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Bhakkar, Rangers have been deployed at Kotla Jam‚ Darya Khan and Panj Garian and extra police contingents have also been called out to maintain law and order situation in the areas.

The Executive District Officer (EDO) Education Qazi Zahoor Hussain said that all the institutes will remain closed in the areas under curfew.

On Friday, the violence broke out when a protest march organized by Sunni radical group Ahl-e-Sunnat Waljamaat reached a Shia neighbourhood in the Bhakar district of central Punjab province.

Sources said the rally was going to Darya Khan from Bhakkar when some people opened fire on the participants at Kotla Jam. To which some of the armed rally participants retaliated.

As result, six people – from both the sects– were killed on the spot while six others were critically injured of whom five later succumbed to their injurries taking the total death toll to 11.

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