LAHORE - Car-dealers went on strike, shortly after a private security guard gunned down three traders after a brief altercation over salary delay in Faisal Town police precincts on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the gunman, identified as Ghulam Abbas a resident of Imamia Colony Shahdara, immediately fled the crime scene.

According to eyewitnesses, the security guard got infuriated and opened straight fire on the traders with his automatic assault rifle during a meeting over the issue of his salary. As a result, three traders identified as Shafqat Zaheer (42), Adeel (35) and Waheed (30) died on the spot.

The security guard and some traders were negotiating the salary dispute at the office of Shafqat Zaheer, chairman of the Faisal Town car-dealers union, when the guard opened fire on them.

A police officer said that the guard had been sacked by the car-dealers recently and he was specially called in at the car market on Wednesday to settle the dispute of his pending salaries.

After being fired by the car dealers, Abbas was serving as a private security guard at a nearby market. On the day of incident, he came in the reconciliatory meeting with his assault rifle.

“All of a sudden, Abbas opened fire on the car dealers when they exchanged harsh words with him,” a police officer quoted a car dealer as telling the policemen on the crime scene. The Edhi ambulance service shifted the bodies to the Jinnah hospital’s morgue for autopsy. Faisal Town police have registered a triple murder case against the accused and are investigating with no arrest made yet.

Investigators said that the guard was residing in a rented house in Imamia Colony, Shahdara. The police found the killer’s house locked from outside as they raided his temporary residence on Wednesday evening.

Soon after the incident, dozens of car dealers closed down their businesses to protest the killings of their colleagues. The angry protesters blocked the Maulana Shaukat Ali Road by stetting the tyres on fire and demanded the police to bring the culprit to justice.

Police, however, managed to disperse the protesters after registering a triple murder case against the accused. Senior police officers also reached the spot and assured the dealers that the culprit would be given exemplary punishment. Many emotional scenes were witnessed at the car market as the friends and relatives of the deceased persons reached the scene.

Resident of Wapda Town, Shafqat Zaheer, was the father of three. The wedding ceremony of his elder daughter was scheduled on Sunday. Adeel was also a car-dealer while Abdul Waheed was a real estate agent.

Police sources confirmed that Abbas worked as security guard at the car market for a couple of months. The car-dealers used to collect money from all the traders of the car market to pay the guard on monthly basis. According to the dealers, the guard was sacked because of his rude behaviour. Police are also investigating whether the killer had a history of violence. Further investigations are underway.