Police arrested seven men who were carrying a large cache of weapons outside the district and sessions court next to Baba Ground in Lahore on Tuesday.
Security head Mubashir Awan said five guns were seized from the men, including Kalashnikovs. More than a thousand bullets and 15 magazines were also recovered, he added.
However, a spokesperson for the Lahore police later said in a statement that five rifles, five pistols and 700 bullets were recovered from the seven men identified as Shehroz, Imran, Ehsanullah, Bilal, Faisal, Riaz, and one other.
He added that the suspects were shifted to the Islampura police station for registration of a case against them.
Meanwhile, Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar congratulated the security chief and his team for apprehending the men. He also announced action against the suspects and awards for the security team, according to the statement.
“Kalashnikov culture will be ended in Lahore. Nobody is allowed to go around displaying weapons. The writ of the state must be established,” the CCPO said.
“Protecting the lives and livelihoods of citizens is the police’s responsibility and we will fulfil it,” he added.
There have been several incidents of shootings inside courtrooms in Lahore and elsewhere during the last year.
In November 2020, police arrested a gunman after he shot two brothers dead inside the “bakhshi khana”, a lockup for under-trial prisoners, of a sessions court in Lahore.
The arrested man claimed before police at the time that he had killed Riyasat Nazir and Bilal Nazir to avenge the murder of his mother.
In August, a man facing a murder charge was gunned down outside a courtroom at a sessions court in Lahore allegedly by the complainant party.
The man had arrived at the sessions court for the hearing of his petition for pre-arrest bail in the case. He was about to enter the courtroom when the assailant appeared and shot him in the head.
He died on the spot while the killer escaped without facing any resistance from the security personnel deputed on the court’s premises.