LAHORE: A judicial tribunal probing the Model Town clashes has turned down an application to place the Punjab chief minister, the former law minister and other officials on the exit control list (ECL).
The application, submitted by Advocate Aftab Ahmed Bajwa, requested that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah, former principal secretary to chief minister, former CCPO, former IG and other police and civil officers should be placed on the ECL.
Bajwa pleaded that their names be placed on the ECL so the aforementioned could not leave the country during the investigation of the incident.
However, the tribunal, which is headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najfi and was formed to probe the deadly clashes between the police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek supporters in Lahore earlier this month, stated that it is not the appropriate forum to carry out such actions.
“This tribunal does not feel it appropriate to either order or not order the inclusion of certain persons in the exit control list as there is a proper forum available,” said Najfi.
Advocate Bajwa further held the chief minister responsible for the incident saying that the police acted on his orders. He further deemed Sanaullah a killer and said the police should have arrested him.
He added that victims are terrified of the present rulers and thus, are not appearing before the tribunal to record their statements. However, ensuring protection for the victims the tribunal asked Bajwa to report who was threatening and who was being threatened. “The tribunal will ensure protection of the injured victims who want to record their statements,” said Najfi.
The advocate requested the tribunal to direct concerned authorities to provide him CCTV recordings of Jinnah Hospital for the number of injured and dead brought to the hospital during the clashes.
Stating that the police was not registering FIRs as a second FIR cannot be registered of a single incident, Bajwa requested the tribunal to order for their registration, adding that there are precedents where the third FIR for a single incident has also been registered.
Further hearings of the tribunal have been adjourned till tomorrow.
A joint investigation team probing the clashes has been directed to submit a report of its daily progress.
Eye witness accounts
A social worker claiming to have witnessed the incident appeared before the tribunal today. Naghmana Yasin said that on the day of the clashes, she went to the Minhajul Quran secretariat where upon entering she saw two policemen firing at a woman. She was asked by the judge to submit her account on a written affidavit.
Another eye witness, Muhammad Arshad, a resident of the area, was also asked to file an affidavit about his account. In his brief verbal statement, he said that fear of present rulers was keeping residents from recording their statements.
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