PTI activists face legal action over agitations

Rawalpindi police book over 70 workers including central leaders

Saleh Mughal May 10, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)


Over seventy Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers, including two central leaders, were booked in Rawalpindi for organising a rally despite a ban and clashing with the police.

The two cases have been filed under the 16 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act and other related charges, such as resisting arrest, property damage, and making threats.

According to a spokesperson for the police, the incidents leading to these cases occurred within the limits of the Bani police station and Sadiqabad police station. In a case registered in the Bani police station, Sub-Inspector Mumtaz reported that around 50 PTI workers, led by MNA Shehryar Riaz, conducted a rally at Bani Chowk against government and military leadership, defying a ban on public gatherings.

“Despite warnings, they proceeded with the rally, even damaging official vehicles. Consequently, arrests, including Shehryar Riaz, were made with charges under various legal provisions.”

Another case involves 27 unidentified individuals, including four women and five male activists, alongside PTI leader Seemabiya Tahir. The police said this group was also involved in the unauthorised rally and faced legal consequences, with arrests made in connection to the incident.

On the other hand, Civil Judge Nawaz Ashraf granted bail to 21 activists arrested for participating in a protest rally on Thursday, including former PTI National Assembly candidates Shehryar Riaz and Seemabiya Tahir Sati. The courtroom witnessed the release of some of them, with each being freed while still in handcuffs. The court noted that peaceful protest rallies are protected as constitutional and legal rights for all political parties.

The petitions filed by the police to detain the activists in Adiala Jail on physical or judicial remand were dismissed by the court. Instead, the court instructed the arrested individuals to submit bail bonds worth Rs50,000 each, leading to their release.

These arrests stemmed from cases registered at Bani and Sadiqabad police stations.

The protest, organised by local PTI leaders in response to actions taken against the party, led to a confrontation with law enforcement. Upon the leaders' arrival, the police deployed heavy force and subsequently arrested everyone present. The police justified these arrests by citing a violation of Section 144, which restricts public gatherings.

After being released, Shehryar Riaz expressed criticism of the current government, stating that the government formed through Form 47 has become erratic. He predicted the imminent end of what he described as a corrupt and oppressive regime, asserting that a government chosen by the people would soon take power. Riaz even hinted at a political ambition, suggesting that "Prisoner number 804 will become the next prime minister."

Published in The Express Tribune May 11th, 2024.


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