LAHORE  - A young man arrested for shooting a youth in Jinnah Hospital yesterday told The Nation he wanted to kill the victim to avenge the murder of his grandfather earlier this week.

Nineteen-year-old Harris Shaukat surrendered to the police yesterday and confessed he had shot 28-year-old Muhammad Azhar four times from point blank range in the hospital’s surgical ward, where he was being treated in police custody. He had sustained injuries when he attacked Shaukat’s grandfather with an axe on Monday.

Last night, Harris said he had wanted to kill Azhar in revenge for the murder of Haji Abdul Aziz.

In a police-cell interview with The Nation, he said Azhar was a close neighbour and had attacked his grandfather following a petty argument.

“Azhar mercilessly axed to death my 80-year-old grandfather. This man hit my grandfather in the neck with an axe. He brutally murdered (the old man) in public,” Haris said. “I was in search of him since he murdered my grandfather”.

Abdul Aziz was sitting in front of his house in Feroziyawala and smoking Huqqa when Azhar carrying a sharp-edged tool (kassi) attacked the old man in Johar Town on Monday. The old man was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced him as brought dead. Police investigators said the children of both the families had fought in the street over a petty issue earlier.

Soon after the attack, cops arrested Azhar after filing a murder case against him on the complaint of Shaukat Ali, father of Harris. The Johar Town police shifted the accused to the Jinnah Hospital for medical treatment since he had sustained injuries when he attacked the old man with an axe.

“Azhar insulted my family by attacking and killing my grandfather in the public.” “Why he brutally killed my grandfather. If he wanted to kill the old man then he should have shot and killed him but he repeatedly and mercilessly hit the old man with an axe in presence of many people,” Harris said.

According to the accused, he planned the gun attack to avenge the killing after he witnessed the blood-soaked body of his grandfather. “I could not sleep for two days. I was upset since I saw the body of my grandfather”.

The accused also told this reporter that he used an illegal weapon to carry out the gun-attack. “I had no licence of the weapon. I got it from somewhere and went straight to the hospital. I surrendered myself to the police soon after I shot him four times.”

A police investigator said that the victim sustained a bullet in the belly. The condition of Azhar was said to be very critical till late yesterday night.

Both the accused and the victim lived in the same Mohallah Feroziyawala located near Allahu Chowk in Johar Town.

The daylight shooting in the second largest public hospital of the province sparked panic and terror among patients. Several patients and their relatives were seen running out of the multi-storey hospital building following the shooting.

Doctors and hospital staff was literally seen in panic after the fatal shooting. “Initially, we thought it was a terror attack. It was terrible since everybody was scared,” said a medical officer who preferred his name not to be mentioned.

A hospital nurse, Fozia Bibi, said she was injecting a patient in the ward when she heard the gun shots. “I pulled out the needle immediately and started running towards the exit point of the building”.

Doctors and staff also protested over poor security arrangements in one of the leading public hospitals in Lahore. “How a young man entered in the hospital’s ward with a gun. There was no police security at the time of the gun attack,” another doctor said.

Heavy police contingents rushed to the hospital following attack. Police commandoes were also deployed around the hospital building to keep the things under control.

Police officer Sohail Iftikhar, last night, told The Nation that an attempted murder case was registered against the accused under section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code. “The police are the complainant in this case,” he said.

The Garden Town station house officer, Iftikhar, described the condition of the victim as very critical. “The doctors have just completed an operation of the victim but his condition is not stable yet”.

The officer also confirmed that the yesterday’s shooting victim had killed the grandfather of the attacker two days ago in Johar Town. “It was a revenge attack basically. The young attacker is being interrogated by a team of police investigators,” he said. The police have also recovered a pistol from the accused, the officer said.

Further investigations were underway.