LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday indicted Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the party’s patron-in-chief Peer Afzal Qadri and others in a case registered after the party’s agitation and protests in the wake of Oct 2018 acquittal of blasphemy accused, Aasia Bibi.
Violent protests broke out across the country after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on October 31, 2018 acquitted Bibi for want of evidence. The TLP led by Rizvi was leading the protest that brought life in many parts of the country to a grinding halt for three days.
Later, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government struck a deal with the religious party but started a massive crackdown against its leaders and workers in the last week of November 2018 ahead of the party’s planned protest in Islamabad.
The government also registered a case against the accused at Lahore’s Civil Lines police station on charges of sedition and terrorism for allegedly delivering anti-state speeches and inciting violence.
The FIR included Sections 290, 291, 353, 427, 186 and 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Section 6 of the Sound System Punjab Ordinance, 2015 and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Lahore’s ATC-I Judge Arshad Hussain on Tuesday announced charges brought against the TLP leaders. Twenty six (26) accused — including the TLP chief and Qadri — were also provided copies of the challan. The judge also summoned witnesses for the next hearing to be held on Wednesday (today).