Elahi booked on terror charges

Police complaint claims raiding team 'attacked with petrol, stones and batons'

Rana Yasif April 29, 2023
Former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. PHOTO: FILE


Former Punjab chief minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Central President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was booked by the Punjab police on terror charges on Saturday but managed to get relief from the court till May 6

In the wee hours of Saturday, an Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab, team along with the Lahore police conducted a raid at Elahi’s residence to arrest him.

The raiding teams remained on the premises for more than three hours during which they took into custody around nine people, but were unable to find Elahi.

The raid at the former CM’s residence came hours after the ACE arrested a close friend of Elahi’s son, Moonis, on Friday.

After receiving the bail papers, the ACE decided not to arrest Elahi till May 6.

According to the ACE officials, Elahi's lawyers submitted the bail papers received from the court.

According to the documents, the court has granted interim bail to Elahi till May 6.

ACE sources said the investigation against Elahi would continue as per the law in Punjab.

According to the sources, the persons arrested from the house of the former chief minister were in police custody.

“A case of throwing petrol bombs and pelting stones at the police and the ACE team had been registered against the detained persons.”

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According to details, a case has been registered against 50 individuals at Lahore’s Ghalib Market police station.

The FIR invokes Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and has 13 other charges pertaining to attempted murder, rioting and assaulting government officials.

According to the FIR filed on an anti-corruption officer's complaint, the raiding team was attacked with petrol bombs, stones, and batons.

The complaint added that Elahi was assisted in evading arrest during the raid.

Further, two corruption cases have been registered one after the other under different provisions against Elahi and seven others, including sub divisional officer and contractor of Gujrat Highway Department.

According to details, on the complaint of Muhammad Basharat, the head constable at Gujranwala ACE police station, a case number 6/23 was registered. It is said that Elahi, during his tenure as the chief minister, misused his position and authority to build a nine-kilometre-long bridge and received kickbacks in various schemes and projects.

The contract of Chhatanwala and Darya Kothana was awarded to MS Construction Company of Mudassar Abbas, who is the secretary of highway contractor Haji Tariq, for more than Rs100 million.

It is said that Sohail Asghar, the frontman of Elahi, received Rs5 million as a bribe.

Although the said work was not sub-standard, but due to collusion, the performance guarantee was already issued before the completion of the project, causing damage to the public treasury.

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A case was registered against Elahi, Gujrat Highway Department XEN Meher Azmat, SDO Ashfaq Ahmed, Sub-Engineer Sulaiman Ahmed, contractor Mudassar Abbas, Haji Tariq and Sohail Asghar under sections 161- 471/409,420/468,5/2/47 of Prevention of Corruption Act on April 27.

While on April 29, Abdul Waqar, an officer, registered the second case number 7/23 at the Gujranwala ACE police station.

It has been alleged that a contract for the construction of 29km road from Old GT Road to Lakhanwal was given by the former chief minister to a highway construction company he liked for up to Rs10 billion against a bribe of Rs2 billion. The advance of the project had already been paid.

“Sohail Asghar, son of Muhammad Asghar, is an equal participant in the deal.”

The said road was constructed in a very poor manner and the public exchequer suffered damages.

On the order of Gujranwala anti-corruption director, a case was registered against six accused under sections 161/162, 165A/34, 5/2/47 of PCA.

Earlier during the day, Elahi’s son Rasikh moved the Lahore High Court seeking directions to the police to stop their operation at Zahoor Elahi Road residence.

Rasikh, in his petition, contended that police officials did not show any respect to the family members as they entered into his house without any search warrants and conducted the operation in a similar way as it was being conducted in Waziristan or tribal areas of South Punjab.

He made Punjab chief secretary, ACE director general, additional director, Lahore SSP (Operations) and Model Town SP respondents.

He contended that on April 27, 2023 an FIR 06/23 was registered by Gujranwala ACE against his father as a result of which his father approached the LHC for a protective bail which was granted bail till May 6.

Despite the court orders, the respondents on April 28 at 11pm raided the house of the petitioner along with 300 to 400 police officials by breaking the main gate of their residence with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) and entered into the house. The police not only broke the main gate but also the doors of the house of the petitioner.

Late night raid

Police had sealed off Zahoor Elahi Road at both ends before launching the operation. At the outset, the raiding team had approached the legal team of Elahi, which informed them that Elahi had secured protective bail from the court.

When the negotiations between the legal and ACE teams failed, the ARF made an attempt to enter the premises. However, it was met with severe resistance from the workers inside the house.

The police made further attempts to break the gate, as they climbed over the wall but because of stone-pelting, their attempts failed again. Reportedly water mixed with petrol and kerosene oil was also thrown at the police from inside the house.

After multiple attempts failed, the police finally deployed an APC, which tore down the main gate and opened a passage for the police to enter the premises. The police then arrested over seven PTI workers.

The policemen then broke down the windowpanes as well the doors to enter the house. In the drawing room inside, the police met with the female cousins of Elahi, who told them that he was not at home.

After searching Elahi's house, the police also moved to check the residence of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, which is located in the same sprawling complex that has the same entry point. Shujaat’s son, Salik Hussain, told the police that Elahi was not in their house.


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