An anti-terrorism court on Saturday granted pre-arrest bail to the security division superintendent (SP) and his gunman accused of ordering policemen to open fire on Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers during clashes in Model Town on June 17.
SP Salman Ali Khan and Abid Khan were granted bails against surety bonds of Rs100,000 each. The judge also summoned police record by July 19.
In his petition, the SP said he had been falsely accused in the case. He said he had neither opened fire on PAT workers nor issued such a directive.
On Friday, an Elite Force officer, Abdul Rauf, had told the investigation team probing the clashes that the SP had ordered police to shoot the protesters in the legs.
Sabzazar Station House Officer (SHO) Sheikh Amir Saleem and other police personnel had then fired shots at the demonstrators killing 14 people and injuring more than 80, Rauf said.
Meanwhile, the joint investigation team (JIT) that has been recording statements of police officers who took part in the June 17 operation has shortlisted some officers for further interrogation.
The JIT has footages of these officers opening fire at Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers.
A police official said the JIT had summoned Mujahid Squad Superintendent (SP) Abdur Rahim Sherazi on Saturday and asked him to clarify his position on the shooting at PAT workers.
He was also asked to explain the difference in the written statement that he had previously submitted to the JIT and the record logs of police.
According to the official, in his written statement the SP had said that he had taken three police vehicles to Minhajul Quran Secretariat but according to the police’s log book 13 police vehicles had taken part in the operation.
The SP told the JIT he had fired 10 to 12 bullets. However, video footage appeared to suggest that he had fired dozens of rounds.
Seven other station house officers who had taken part in the operation were questioned by the JIT till late on Friday night.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2014.