Trial of PTI’s Chaudhry, Rasheed commences

Trial of PTI’s Chaudhry, Rasheed commences

LAHORE:

An anti-terrorist court (ATC) in Lahore has commenced the trial of PTI leaders Ejaz Chaudhry and Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed and other accused in four cases pertaining to May 9 riots.

The nominated suspects have been summoned on November 15 from jail.

The court has ordered the prosecutor to appear before it with instructions regarding those accused who have not been arrested.

Meanwhile, the court also issued summons in the cases pertaining to setting the PML-N office and containers in Gulberg ablaze.

The summons for Chaudhry, Rasheed and others were issued by ATC judge Arshad Javed.

Separately, four nominated accused including PTI Central Punjab Vice President Afzal Azeem Pahat and 25 unidentified people have been booked under various sections including terrorism and interfering in state matters. The ATC granted their seven-day physical remand.

The case against Pahat, his brother and son was registered at Kahana Police Station. The FIR stated that the PTI leader and other accused attacked a police party on October 22, tortured a police constable and resorted to aerial firing.

It is pertinent to mention here that on October 22, Pahat had tried to hold a PTI workers’ convention in Kahana after obtaining permission from Lahore DC but failed to do so as police entered the site forcefully and arrested several party workers.

Pahat’s brother maintained that they were arrested in connection with a May 9 violence case and presented in ATC.

During the operation on October 22, the police reportedly damaged office property by breaking windows and tearing down the PTI banners and posters.

Highlighting the brazen disregard for privacy and legal protocol, the PTI released video evidence showing the absence of a proper search or arrest warrant during the raids, labelling the actions as illegal and a violation of fundamental rights.

The party fiercely criticised the arrests of its party workers, decrying the use of force against a peaceful political assembly as a blatant violation of court orders.

In a strongly worded statement, the PTI highlighted the disturbing disparity in treatment, pointing out the stark contrast between the handling of its workers and the preferential VIP protocol provided to what they deemed a “fugitive criminal” – a reference to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s homecoming.

On May 9, violence broke out in different parts of the country after PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan was arrested by the paramilitary Rangers on the orders of National Accountability Bureau in a graft case.

The party workers allegedly attacked Jinnah House in Lahore and vandalized the military installations.


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