LAHORE - All the five victims of Barki shooting were buried at a local graveyard on Wednesday evening amid anger and anguish.

Heavy gunfire triggered panic in the Phullarwan village as hundreds of people gathered to attend the funeral prayers of five men who were killed in a brazen gun attack on Tuesday morning.  There were conflicting reports about gunfire during the funeral prayers. Some villagers said unidentified gunmen opened indiscriminate to create more unrest. They claimed that the victim families were targeted by their opponents.

However, a police official denied reports that some participants of the funeral prayers were targeted by gunmen, all of sudden. He claimed that unknown armed men resorted to aerial firing outside the houses of the suspected attackers.

Lahore DIG (Operations) Shahzad Akbar late Wednesday claimed the funeral prayers of the victims were held peacefully and amid heightened police security. “The victim families resorted to aerial firing outside the homes of their opponents. Those involved in the firing incident will be arrested very soon,” Akbar said.

The police on early Wednesday registered a criminal case against several gunmen on the complaint of a relative of the deceased persons. A police official said that nine suspects are named in the first information report in addition to some unidentified persons.

An official of the investigation police said two special police teams were conducting raids in different parts of the city to arrest the killers. However, no arrest was made till late Wednesday.  Earlier, police said the victims were shot dead over land dispute. On Tuesday morning, all the five victims riding on a tractor-trolley were going to nearby fields when they came under attack near Habibabad, a small town located on Burki Road.

The deceased were identified by police as Qurban Ali, 50, his brother Abdul Rashid, 45, Bashir Ahmed, 32, Tanveer Ali, 16, and Qadri Ali, 14. Three of the five victims were brothers and residents of the Phullarwan Village. The attackers also belonged to the same village, according to police.

Angry mob set ablaze several houses of the suspected attackers in the Phullarwan village on Tuesday afternoon. Later, heavy police contingents were called to control the situation.

Following Tuesday’s gun attack, the victims’ relatives reached The Mall and staged a strong protest demonstration by placing bodies in front of the provincial assembly building. Heavy police contingents including senior officers also reached the protest site. The villagers ended their protest after police officers including Lahore’s DIG (Operations) held a series of negotiations with them. The victim families were assured by police that the killers would be brought to justice.

As protesters reached back their village, they attacked and torched the houses belonging to their opponents.

On Wednesday evening, heavy police were deployed in the village to maintain peace. But the situation remains tense in this border village. Many people were seen roaming on the streets with automatic assault rifles on Wednesday. The police mobile units were also on patrol around the village to avoid any further untoward incident.