Police find themselves in the middle of political duel

PML-N leaders’ homes raided in reaction to crackdown on PTI rally

Muhammad Shahzad August 29, 2022
Racecourse police registered a case and started searching for the fleeing suspects. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


Political steps like raids on the houses of some Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and transfer  of  over  65  superintendents of police (SPs), DSPs and almost all the SHOs of Lahore  involved  in  use  of  force during the May 25 PTI protest  clouded  city  police activities during last week.

Late night after a PTI public  meeting  at  the  Hockey Stadium on August 14, Punjab government transferred as many as 12 SPs and 43 DSPs of Lahore.

A  few  hours  before  the massive overhaul,  Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar had tweeted," A process  of  accountability  has been started regarding May 25th incidents on the orders of chief minister Punjab. I have sought progress report from other districts also."

Dogar had said four days earlier, "The competent authrority  has  suspended 25 SHOs and an inquiry according to the law has been initiated against them."

On August 19, Lahore police raided the house of PML-N Leader Rana Mashood. They acquired arrest warrants of 12 PML-N leaders, including Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Ata Tarar, Special Assistant to Prime  Minister,  from  a magistrate.

A few days earlier, a raid had been conducted on the house of Tarar. However, the leaders were not present at their homes.

The raids were conducted on the basis of an FIR registered on the complaint of a DSP and sergeant at arms of  Punjab  Assembly  after a  brawl  in  the  legislature in April.

On the day fixed for election  of  the  chief  minister,  police  had  also  been summoned  by  the  deputy speaker and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had complained that he was physically attacked. After  the  registration  of the  FIR,  PTI  and  PML-Q leaders were implicated in the investigations.

However,  as  the  government  changed,  the  police launched a hunt against PML-N leaders in the same case. They submitted an application to the magistrate for  permission  to  arrest  12 PML-N leaders.

Lahore police stated that cases  had  been  registered against  the  accused  and they were deliberately not appearing before investigation  officers. They  should be arrested to complete the investigations.

The  accused  leaders  included Ata Tarar, Rana Mashood, Owais Leghari and Saiful Malook Khokhar Pressure through public statements by the PTI leadership about arrest of PML-N  leaders  by  Lahore  police has been intensified after the arrest and alleged torture of former prime minister Imran Khan’s aide Shahbaz Gill.

Meanwhile, security from  the  Jati  Umra and Model Town  residences  of the Sharif family was also withdrawn.


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