LAHORE - The PTI has called off its protest sit-in at Garhi Shahu Chowk against the killing of a local leader during election campaign after police assured them of arresting culprits in three days.

DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf has asked for 72 hours for arresting the killers of our local leader Abdul Ghaffar Gujjar, PTI Punjab deputy organiser, Umer Sarfaraz Cheema told The Nation on Wednesday.

Punjab organiser Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar with the consent of senior party leaders, Shafqat Mehmood and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, accepted the word of Dr Haider and appealed the party leaders and workers to disperse peacefully.

He said the DIG has also assured them that the culprits would be tried under terrorism sections of the law. The election campaign for by-polls and local bodies elections took a bloody turn when Abdul Ghaffar Gujjar was allegedly killed by PML-N activists late Monday. He was Imran Khan’s party candidate for Ward 6 of Union Council 126 for the LB elections.

Earlier, hundreds of PTI activists under Chaudhary Sarwar’s leadership held a protest demonstration in front of the Lahore Press Club. The charged supporters were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against Punjab government and police.

Later they staged a sit-in at Garhi Shahu Chowk by placing the body of the dead candidate on the road choking the traffic up to Dharampura Bridge, GT Road, Shimla Pahari Chowk, Davis Road and several adjacent roads. Speaking on the occasion, former Punjab governor Sarwar gave a 48-hour deadline to the provincial government for arresting the killers, warning of province-wide protests to be led by Imran Khan himself.

PTI had also suspended the election campaign but announced to restart it after successful talks with police.

Party’s Punjab women wing has decided to hold a special prayer sitting today for the murdered party leader. Other chapters of the party would also hold similar sittings.

Sarwar in his address said the police had become the election manger of the PML-N and harassing the PTI candidates. PTI won’t accept the election results unless troops of Pak Army and Rangers are deployed on polling day.

He said the slain candidate had joined PTI after quitting the PML-N and therefore he was targeted by the goons of the ruling party. He alleged that Deputy Superintendent of Police Riaz Shah was involved in the Gujjar’s murder. PTI is contesting elections not against the politicians but a group of thugs, thieves and gamblers, he added.