Members of a family, who were booked for allegedly attacking servants of Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati in Islamabad, have denied reconciliation as claimed by Swati’s son Usman Ali on Tuesday.
The slum dwellers were arrested and sent to Adiala jail on judicial remand after Usman Swati lodged a case in Shehzad Town police station on charges of trespassing on their farmhouse a few days ago.
The dispute, which reportedly started after a cow of the family entered the land of the minister, also allegedly led to the transfer of Islamabad police chief Jan Muhammad.
The Supreme Court, however, came down hard on the government on Monday and suspended the transfer, issued on verbal directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was approached by Swati after the Islamabad IGP ‘failed to pick his phone calls’.
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Earlier in the day, a local court approved bail of the suspects that included three men and two women with Rs10,000 surety bonds each.
Addressing a press conference at National Press Club today, the affected family said the reports of reaching an agreement with the minister’s son were baseless and vowed to stage a sit-in in front of PM Khan’s Bani Gala residence if deprived of justice.
A 12-year-old girl of the family said that her father Niaz Muhammad, her younger sister and mother were sent to Adiala jail without committing any crime in this ‘fabricated’ case. Azam Swati’s guards opened fire and her family was falsely accused of terrorism, she added.
“The whole cow episode is an excuse to grab our land and our house,” said the young girl, adding that the family was ready to go to any extent for justice.
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Talking to the media earlier in the day, Usman Swati had claimed that an agreement had been reached between the two parties, terming the whole episode a ‘simple case of fighting between two families’.
Usman also said that his father had nothing to do with the matter and the case was registered on his initiative because he was present on the spot. He said it was his mistake that instead of asking his servants, he himself became complainant.
The slum dwellers, reportedly belonging to Bajaur tribal district, also staged a protest outside the National Press Club yesterday. The relatives and neighbours of the affected family were carrying placards and chanting slogans against the minister and demanding his removal.
According to the protesters, the guards of the minister confiscated a cow and beat up a 12-year-old boy of the family when he tried to bring it back. They also allegedly attacked the boy’s house and beat his family members.