ISLAMABAD - On the second day of long march, clashes erupted between police and protesters causing multiple injuries to four policemen and a dozen protestors at D-Chowk.

The clashes erupted in the afternoon when a group of marchers tried to cross the barriers ahead of parliament prompting police to stop them. The protesters, however, scuffled with the police and injured four policemen including a station house officer.

Protesters including youngsters threw stones at police that responded with tear gas, to disperse them. Reportedly, some of shells of tear gas hit the banker of Tahirul Qadri, and spread panic among the protesters including children, women and others.

According to a spokesperson of police, police fired tear gas at a growing crowd of protesters who converged on parliament until some demonstrators threw stones at security forces near Kulsoom Plaza.

A police source told TheNation that police were prompted to use tear gas until someone from the crowd fired aerial shots causing panic among the participants of long march.

“Yes, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd that went violent. Let me clear it to you that police was compelled to do the same as some participants of long march fired in the air,” a spokesperson of Islamabad police told TheNation on Tuesday.

The tension was diffuse after organisers of long march asked the protesters to remain cool and calm. Incident of scuffle between the police and protesters prompted Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik to direct the police and Rangers to provide security to Tahirul Qadri. He said that Qadri is their guest and it is the responsibility of the police to protect him.

According to a press note issued by the Ministry of Interior, Rehman Malik took notice of firing and clashes in long march and directed Chief Commissioner Islamabad to take strike action to avoid such incidents and asked an immediate report of firing incident. 

The organisers of the long march lodged complaint of the incident with Kohsar police station and asked the police to lodge an FIR.

Talking to TheNation, a leader of Tehreek Minhjajul Quran International (TMI) Umer Riaz Abbasi accused the police of making an attempt to conspire to arrest TMI Chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri.

According to Umar, police scuffled with the marchers intentionally that too at a time when Qadri on board his vehicle was en route to D-Chowk from Jinnah Avenue.

A wave of fear and uneasiness spread among the marchers following the incident of aerial firing. However, things were normalized with in an hour.

Although police said, it has received complaint from the organizers regarding the incident, however, no FIR was registered until filing of this report.