LAHORE - A 65-year-old man died and several others wounded during an anti-encroachment operation at Sabzi Mandi near Multan Chungi on Friday evening.

The deceased was identified as Muhammad Shareef, a local vendor.

Eyewitnesses said that violent clashes erupted between police and traders as the city district government launched the anti-encroachment drive to get the state land vacated at the Sabzi Mandi.

Traders and vendors clashed with police as authorities started demolishing the high-rises and sheds of shops by using heavy machinery. Heavy police contingents took part in the operation that was suspended due to violence in the evening.

Police fired tear-gas shells and brutally baton-charged shopkeepers and traders as they tried to stop the operation. According to traders, the police and city government officials badly thrashed a 65-year-old man who fell unconscious and died instantly. Several traders were also wounded during the clashes.

Following the death of Muhammad Shareef, hundreds of traders staged a strong protest demonstration by placing the dead body in the middle of Multan Road. The protesters also chanted slogans against the police and PTI government for depriving poor of livelihood.

A shopkeeper Bashir Ahmad said the government officials launched the operation without serving any prior notice to the shopkeepers. The police badly thrashed and tortured the shopkeepers when they refused to end protests. The protesters also blocked the Lahore-Multan road by setting tyres on fire.

More police contingents were sent to the site to control the law and order situation on Wednesday night. According to police, more than 250 people gathered on the spot and started protest against the police operation.

Authorities suspended the anti-encroachment drive late Wednesday as violence spread in the locality. Hundreds of police were also deployed in the area to keep the things under control.

The police later shifted the body to the morgue for autopsy and were investigating the death.