Diplomatic Enclave incident: Court grants bail to woman who misbehaved with cops

Police say they initially disregarded the incident but only booked her after the video went viral


Our Correspondent October 24, 2018
PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD: A woman, who had been arrested for threatening and abusing police officers after she had been stopped from entering the high-security Diplomatic Enclave in an unmarked car, was granted post-arrest bail on Tuesday.

Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate Saqib Jawad resumed hearing of the bail plea filed by the defendant, Dr Shehla Raza, on Tuesday. The suspect’s lawyer told the court that his client did not commit that big a crime and that the charges included in the first information registered against her were all bailable.

Diplomatic Enclave incident: Suspect moved to AFIC for her ‘heart’ problem

He added that his client was repentant and ashamed by her attitude towards the capital’s police force, hence bail should be granted.

During the hearing, Secretariat police SHO Shabbir Tanoli told the court that despite being on the receiving end of misbehaviour, abuses and threats from the defendant, the police officers on duty had displayed remarkable calmness to ignore it.

A lawyer representing Islamabad Police contended that since a video of the incident – in one of the most secure areas of the country - had gone viral bringing disrepute to the country across the world.

Hence, he argued, her bail plea should be rejected.

Judge Jawad asked the police why did they wait two days to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the woman. At this, SHO Tanoli said that they had initially disregarded the incident. But after the video of the incident went viral, they decided to book Dr Raza and arrest her.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Jawad ruled to accept the woman’s post-arrest bail plea against surety bonds worth Rs50,000.

According to ASI Tahir Farooq of the Islamabad Police, Dr Raza was attempting to enter the secure Diplomatic Enclave on October 17 in a car which did not display any licence plate.

Police officers, deputed at a picket at the Diplomatic Enclave Gate 1, motioned her car to stop and asked about the identity of the occupants. There was a young man driving the car who, ASI Farooq said, appeared to be about 18-years-old while the passenger was a woman who introduced herself as Dr Raza. She said that she was heading to the American Embassy.

At this, she was told that she cannot enter the enclave without a number plate apart from following other procedures.

“This information (car registration number and computerized identity card number) has to be provided to the police in advance and permission is granted by the concerned officers, only then a car is allowed to enter the diplomatic enclave,” the police officer said.

At this, the woman got angry and started cursing the officers present and even threatened to run over the cops if she was not allowed to enter the enclave. She then had the car parked in an angular fashion which blocked the path of traffic.

Abusing, threatening cops: Woman who tried to enter Diplomatic Enclave sent to jail

She then took a number plate (AKH-215) from the trunk of the car and showed it to the cops on duty.

While the incident took place on October 17, she was not booked until October 20 when a video of the incident went viral on social media.

She was subsequently booked for assault or using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty (Section 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code), obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions (Section 186 of PPC), for wrongful restraint of a person (Section 341 of PPC) and for criminal intimidation (Section 506 of PPC). 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2018.

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