Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Abdul Majeed Khan Achakzai, arrested on charges of crushing to death a traffic police sergeant in Quetta earlier this year, was granted bail yesterday (Thursday) and was released on Friday afternoon by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Balochistan.
In mid-September this year, the case was transferred from the Balochistan High Court (BHC) to an Anti-Terrorism Court in Balochistan.
Court denies bail to MPA who allegedly ran over cop in Quetta
ATC Judge Dawood Kahn Nasr accepted the bail application and granted him bail in the hit and run case. Police produced Achakzai before the court amid tight security. The judge after completing the hearing of the bail application, ordered release of the accused after submitting a surety bond of Rs500,000.
Supporters belonging to the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) were present outside jail in scores waiting to welcome Achakzai. They left the jail in the form of a jalsa and accompanied the MPA to his residence.
In August, a division bench of the BHC, comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai and Justice Hashim Kakar, had taken up Achakzai's bail application. The chief justice rejected the application, while Justice Hashim Kakar granted the bail.
The case was then referred to the referee judge of the BHC, Justice Ejaz Swati, who heard the plea and reserved judgment until the announcement that bail had been rejected.
Hit and run: MPA arrested for crushing traffic sergeant to death
The unfortunate incident took place on June 20 when a speeding official vehicle, belonging to Achakzai, directly hit Dashti, leaving him seriously injured. Dashti, later, succumbed to his injuries. A cyclist, Abdul Ghafoor Baloch was also injured by Achakzai’s vehicle.
Achakzai, who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Balochistan Assembly, admitted that he was driving his official vehicle when the accident took place. He said he would settle the issue by paying compensation to the family of the late traffic sergeant as well as the injured passerby.
Achakzai, who was elected to the Balochistan Assembly in 2013 elections from PB-13 Qila Abdullah, intended to leave for Dera Ghazi Khan along with tribal elders to meet the family of Dashti.
Inspector General of Police Balochistan Ahsan Mehboob and other senior police officials took serious notice of the tragic incident and ordered the concerned police officials to register a case against the MPA.
Achakzai allegedly ran over the warden after the latter ordered him to stop at GPO Chowk, which lies in the maximum security area of Balochistan’s capital, on June 20. What was at first thought to be an accident was later suspected to be a deliberate act on the MPA’s part once CCTV footage of the incident emerged. There were also reports that Achakzai was drunk and driving recklessly when the officer signaled him to pull over.
The police initially registered a ‘traffic accident’ case but were compelled to up the charge to ‘manslaughter’ after the footage – which showed Achakzai exchanging harsh words with the warden and then running him over – went viral on social media and prompted protests by the Balochistan press. The lawmaker was subsequently arrested by a police team, headed by a senior officer.
“Yes, we arrested MPA Majeed Achakzai from his residence in Satellite Town area on charges of running over and killing a traffic police sergeant Haji Attaullah Dashti,” the senior officer at the Civil Lines Police Station confirmed.
The video of the incident went viral on social media, with people asking for Achakzai to be 'put in jail' and others asking for the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the incident.
*Warning: This video contains graphic content and may not be suitable for all audiences. Discretion advised.
Here is a video of the incident: