In the wake of protests against the possible arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the capital police booked the former prime minister and his close aide, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, alongwith dozens of supporters in three separate cases pertaining to terrorism.
The capital police registered four separate cases against PTI leaders, activists and supporters on different charges, including Anti-Terrorism Act, and arrested over two dozen people. Cases were registered at Bhara Kahu, Khanna and Tarnol police stations.
According to an FIR registered with Bhara Kahu police station, Hamid Zaman Kiani, Naseem Abbasi, Shaikh Liaqat and Chaudhry Tariq, along with 40 unidentified persons were booked on charges of ATA 11-X (responsibility for creating civil commotion), and 21(i) (aid and abetment), along with Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted committed In consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot if rioting be committed; if not committed) and 290 (punishment for public nuisance in cases not otherwise provided for).
Another FIR was registered at Khanna police station on charges of ATA’s 11(X), and 21(i), along with Section 341, 353, 186, 506, 109, 188, 153, 290, and 382 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to the FIR, the protesters set tyres on fire and blocked both sides of the Expressway.
Scores of PTI activists booked in Islamabad, Pindi; 51 sent to Adiala
The Khanna police also registered a similar FIR. It said local PTI leaders along with 60 unidentified persons gathered at the Expressway near Zia Masjid and set tyres on fire and blocked both sides of the Expressway.
The FIR registered at Khana and Bhara Kahu police stations blamed Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the action of PTI activists. The complainants stated that the PTI activists intimidated shopkeepers and forcefully shut down their shops. The PTI workers announced that they were obeying the orders of Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the FIRs added.
Another case was registered at Tarnol police station on charges of PPCs 109, 427, 506ii, 149,148,188,341,186 and 353 against Aamir Mughal, his sons and 60 unidentified persons. The police succeeded to arrest 16 protesters, while Mr Mughal escaped from the scene. In a late-night raid, police had abducted four teenagers from Aamir Mughal’s residence.
However, Anas Abdulah, Mohammad Abdullah, and Talal were released by noon while Saad Abdullah and Hassan Abdullah were booked in a case registered at Tarnol police station and sent to jail.
A police spokesperson said that over 20 people were arrested and all were produced in the court, from where they were sent to jail on judicial remand.
51 sent to Adiala jail
In Rawalpindi, at least 22 PTI men, including former members of the Punjab Assembly, and 60 other unidentified activists were booked on charges of attacking the police, blocking roads, rioting and obstructing police from performing duty.
In an FIR registered with the City police station on the complaint of Constable Husnain Raza Bhatti, the complainant said he was on duty at Liaquat Bagh when a group of PTI supporters led by former MPA Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi along with more than 30 supporters appeared at Liaquat Bagh Chowk.
The PTI supporters started chanting slogans against the possible arrest of Imran Khan and blocked the traffic on Murree Road by setting tyres on fire. The PTI supporters who were carrying batons, sticks, stones, and slings attacked the police as well.
The second FIR registered at the Waris Khan police station said that eight PTI local leaders and 30 other supporters “attacked” the police while also obstructing the police officials from performing their duty. The FIR also includes charges of rioting with deadly weapons and blocking roads.
On the other hand, police rounded up 51 supporters and activists from different parts of the city and sent them to Adiala jail for 15 days under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). However, no protest was reported in the garrison city on Wednesday; all those detained by the police under 3MPO were shifted to Adiala jail for 15 days.
Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2023