BAHAWALNAGAR - A man was killed while another sustained critical injuries due to alleged police torture here on Friday. The incident sparked violent protests wherein the clashes between the police and protesters turned parts of the city into a battlefield.

According to detail, a team of B Division Police conducted a surprised raid on a gamblers' den situated in the upper storey of a building adjacent to Haider Stadium in Khadimabad Colony. Meanwhile, some of the gamblers managed their escape by sensing the raid while two persons identified as Hanif alias Hanifa, a resident of Toba Balochan and Rafique Machi, a resident of Khadimabad were overpowered by the police. The "irate" police personnel tortured both of them severely, resulting in the death of Hanif instantly while Rafique sustained serious injuries and was shifted to DHQ Bahawalnagar.

On getting information about the police "highhandedness" people of the area gathered on the spot in a large number and started protesting against the police brutality by placing the dead body on Minchinabad Road.

The protest later turned into a battle between the police and people as the protesters set ablaze tyres and threw the traffic out of gear on Minchinabad Road for about two hours.

Heavy police contingent was called in which started baton charge on the protesters which was countered by the people through pelting stones at police. The police personnel also resorted to aerial firing which fuelled the already charged protesters. They violently attacked the law enforcers and thrashed some of the cops.

Meanwhile, Bahawalnagar DPO Salman Ali Khan arrived at the scene by sensing the deterioration.

He assured the people that the "guilty" police officials would be taken to task and asked the people to disperse. Following his assurance people terminated peacefully after a long protest. However, no action could be initiated against the police officials till filing of this report.