Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Anjum Aqeel was granted post-arrest bail by an anti-terrorism court, as were 30 other men accused of helping him escape from the custody of Shalimar police in the capital.
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqi, counsel for the MNA, said some people forcibly took Aqeel away from police custody on July 15 but he himself did not try to escape. The lawyer said there were no reports of any injuries to police officials or the men. Had there been any incident of firing or resistance, there should have been injuries. He argued that Shalimar police had dropped charges against four men who were apprehended on the spot after preliminary investigation. The fact that the police did not arrest the men from the scene and yet implicated them in the case proves their ill intentions. Had the MNA from Islamabad wilfully escaped from police custody, he would not have turned himself in, Siddiqi argued.
Special Judge Anti-Terrorism Court-I MM Akram Awan directed Aqeel and the other men to furnish surety bonds worth Rs100,000 each before their release. After the hearing, the MNA reportedly left for Islamabad to attend the National Assembly session.
Meanwhile, the ATC-I judge put off the hearing of the main case till August 17 after Shalimar police asked for more time to complete their investigation. The judge directed the police to submit the complete investigation report under section 173 of Criminal Procedure Code by the next date of hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.