Opposition leader Imran Khan arrested by police at student protest rally

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The Independent Online

Fugitive opposition leader Imran Khan surfaced at a student demonstration against emergency rule Wednesday, and was promptly detained by hard-line students and handed over to police, authorities said.

Some 200 student supporters cheered wildly and lifted Khan into the air when he got out of a car on a university campus in the eastern city of Lahore, but other students representing the hard-line Jamaat-e-Islami party surged forward, grabbed Khan and hustled him into a nearby building, senior police official Aftab Cheema told The Associated Press.

Cheema said the radical students placed Khan in a van and took him to a campus gate, where he was handed over to police. He is being held at an undisclosed location, and will be charged with crimes yet to be determined, Cheema said.

Jamaat-e-Islami is also opposed to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule, but were apparently angered that the relatively moderate Khan was allowed on campus.

Khan, a cricket legend who leads a small but outspoken opposition party, was the only one of Musharraf's most outspoken critics not in detention or exile.

He went into hiding after Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Nov. 3 and began rounding up opposition activists.

Khan gave a series of media interviews at secret locations in Lahore before deciding to join students at the University of Punjab protesting Musharraf's assumption of emergency powers.

One student, Faisal Naim, said Khan was still being hoisted aloft by his supporters when the radical students pushed forward.

"Some people came and took him away. He was on my shoulders when they grabbed him," he said.