LAHORE - The Bhati Gate police Thursday manhandled schoolchildren when they were protesting against the government for not making security arrangements at their school in the area.

A 12-year-old boy sustained minor head injuries when, according to police, he was being pushed out of the demo site.

Eyewitnesses said a stampede-like situation surfaced outside the Bhati Gate Government Islamia High School when club-wielding Station House Officer (SHO) Mazhar Iqbal led his squad to attack the protesters.

Many children fell on the road while fleeing police torture. A schoolboy, identified as Fahad Ilyas, sustained minor head injuries and was provided medical treatment.

According to locals, the policemen also thrashed the parents of school kids. However, the police deny the torture.

Dozens of schoolchildren, carrying placards and banners, were protesting against the authorities when the police tried to break up the protest.

“The kids were protesting peacefully when the police appeared at the demo site,” Muhammad Hammad, father of a schoolboy told reporters after the incident.

Later, heavy police contingents reached the spot and managed to disperse the protesters after holding negotiations with the parents and administration of the school.

Meanwhile, SP city police division Asad Sarfraz visited the school, met the children, and sought apology for police manhandling. The Bhati police denied the reports of torture and claimed that the boy was wounded during the pushing.

Punjab Chief Minister and Inspector General of Police came into action and sought reports of the incidents – the CM sought the report from the IGP and the IGP sought the same from the DIG.

Lahore DIG (Operations) has ordered an inquiry to probe into the happening. Late Thursday, a police officer claimed that no police torture was proved during the inquiry and the boy injured when he fell on the road during the pushing.

Also, father of the injured boy, Ilyas, submitted an application before the SHO Bhati Gate stating that his son was not injured due to police torture. Police also claimed that they did not obtain the statement from the victim’s father under duress.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Punjab police manhandled dozens of blind persons as they staged a peaceful protest outside the Lahore Press Club for increase in job quota for special people in December. The blind gathered outside the press club in the morning and continued protesting till the evening but authorities, as usual, had turned a blind eye to the issue. Later, the police manhandled the blind persons to break up the protest.