CHINIOT: Armed men kept thrashing traders, customers and common public on Wednesday and pasted objectionable pamphlets in the city besides getting the shops closed at gunpoint.

However, the police could not arrest even a single outlaw despite the fact that they started aerial firing in front of the police. The routine trade activities were going on in the city bazaars when some outlaws belonging to a sectarian outfit attacked a jewellers’ bazaar and ordered the shopkeepers to close their shops and resorted to aerial firing for offering resistance.

Later, the gunmen moved to Muslim Bazaar, Choori Market and shot at trader Asif Ali and also tortured traders and customers with rods injuring scores of them.

Heavy contingent of police was deployed there but the policemen acted as a silent spectator. They entered Katchery Bazaar and Mandi Bawa Lal and started aerial firing due to which a many traders left their shops opened and disappeared while the frightened women customers ran away the site.

 In reaction, the traders gathered at Ghanta Ghar Chowk and started protesting against the police and also took out a rally towards the DPO Office. DSP Haji Javed along with police cops reached the spot and held dialogues with the traders. The traders’ leaders including Bashir Ahmad Butt, Chaudhary Saeed, Sadiq Mujahid, Maulana Abdul Waris, Nadeem and Shahbaz Ahmad. The traders demanded registration of cases against the outlaws and removal of the posters against them.  On assurance, the traders dispersed. Meanwhile, the DPO suspended SHO Ghulam Abbas Saggal who was posted a couple of days ago in place of SHO Naveed Murtaza Cheema. DPO Rai Zameer also called an emergency meeting of Peace Committee in which Shia and Sunni leaders.

The leaders including Bashir Ahmad Butt, Jamil Fakhri and Dr Tahir Sial said that the armed men from outside Chinniot are terrorising traders but police ineffectiveness has aggravated situation. They demanded protection to traders and a strict action against outlaws.