LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday granted pre-arrest bail to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Niazi who was wanted by the Punjab police for his involvement in the deadly rioting at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) last week.
Niazi, who was booked in an FIR filed by the Shadman police, filed for pre-arrest bail after police were unable to track him down over the past few days.
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The court restrained the police from arresting the prime minister's nephew and ordered Niazi to cooperate with investigators.
Three patients had died after scores of lawyers stormed the PIC on December 11, vandalising property and setting ablaze a police van after a dispute with doctors.
TV channels ran footage showing PM Imran’s nephew, also a lawyer, at the hospital and watching as a police vehicle was set on fire.
He was later nominated in one of the two first information reports (FIRs) registered for vandalising a police car parked outside the PIC.
“He will be arrested at any cost… all are equal in the eye of [the] law,” Punjab’s Minister for Information Fayyazul Hassan Chohan had claimed during a press conference.
Raids were conducted to arrest Niazi, however, police failed to arrest him even after 10 days of the Lahore riots.
PM Imran did not comment on his nephew but had ordered an inquiry into the rioting. Several lawyers who participated in the PIC attack were later arrested in following days.
In an earlier, now-deleted tweet, PM’s nephew had expressed support for the rally but later distanced himself from the actions of the lawyers present.
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“My support and protest was limited to [the] initiation of legal action against the doctors concerned. I only stand for peaceful protests. It’s [a] sad day and I condemn my own self for supporting this protest now,” Niazi had tweeted.