Sunni Tehreek's protest against Qadri verdict turns violent Published: October 3, 2011 LAHORE: Members of the Sunni

Tehreek clashed with police at the Mall Road on Mon day, while protesting against Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence in Lahore, reported Ex press 24/7. Sunni Tehreek, which is a part of Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat Mahaz— a wing consisti ng of eight different religious groups— started the protest march from Data Darbar accompanied with a heavy deployment of police. According to Express 24/7 correspondent Rabia Mehmood, there were about 450-500 supporters of Qadri at the protest. The police shelled the protesters who were p elting stones as a part of their protest. Mehmood reported that the protesters staged a sit-in and have refused to end the protest. Earlier, the police were put on high alert to counter possible riots following t he death sentence imposed on Qadri. Over the weekend several right-wing politica l parties and religious groups rallied against the verdict to hang Qadri and som e of them have threatened further protests. Officials in law enforcement agencies said the police were alerted after intelli gence suggested that organisations such as Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), an umbre lla outfit for several dozen Barelvi outfits, were planning protests that may tu rn violent, especially in Punjab. The SIC and Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat Mahaz also announced that they would mark October 7 as a “black day” and organise protests all over the country. The Lahore High Court recently banned rallies on The Mall after traders who work in the area moved a petition complaining that the protests hurt their businesse s. On Saturday, stick-wielding protestors roamed the markets on The Mall and presse d the traders to shut their stores, according to trader groups. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) sentenced Qadri to death on Saturday on two counts for the murder of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. The self-confessed kil ler’s defence pleas, which invoked religious sentiments and argued the accused was provoked into the act, were dismissed by the court. Qadri was employed as one of the governor’s bodyguards when he shot Taseer dead in Islamabad on January 4.