The Pakistan Awami Tehreek is not cooperating with the Joint Investigation Team probing the Model Town incident, the JIT said in its report submitted to a court on Saturday.
A JIT official submitted the 500-page report to the additional district and sessions judge maintaining that PAT workers had refused to record their statements. It said several policemen involved in the unrest had been arrested.
The JIT said it had recorded statements of hundreds of policemen. It had collected cell-phone records of Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and some police officers.
The judge fixed July 22 for arguments on the Minhajul Quran International’s petition seeking a case against 19, including the prime minister and chief minister, for their alleged involvement in the killing of 14 people on June 17.
Petitioner Jawad Hamid, the Minhajul Quran International Secretariat administration director, said police were reluctant to register a case against the accused, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, former law minister Rana Sanaullah, Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, State Minister for Power and Water Abid Sher Ali and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Hamid said several policemen had gathered in front of Minhajul Quran Secretariat on the night of July 16. He said they brought bulldozers and cranes to demolish the barriers set up near the secretariat.
He said the operations DIG told the secretariat management that they had been directed to remove the barriers.
He said as the bulldozers started razing the barriers, the DIG ordered policemen to resort to shelling if they faced resistance. He said the DIG had been receiving instructions from above.
The petitioner said several women at the secretariat tried to resist the police operation by refusing to let them enter the building but the policemen started shooting at them.
He said Tanzeela Amjad and Shazia Murtaza received severe injuries and died. He said that policemen also snatched valuables such as purses and cell phones from the women.
Physical remand extended
An anti-terrorism court on Saturday extended for seven days the physical remand of five police officials involved in the Model Town violence.
Faisal Town police produced the officials before the court. The accused are Inspector Amir Saleem Sheikh, Sub-inspector Hafeez Akhtar, Constable Khurram, Constable Naveed and Constable Nawaz. The investigating officer of the case had sought a 10-day remand to investigate the matter but the court only granted a seven-day custody. The investigating officer said that police had to recover the weapons used in the incident. He said that police also had to examine video footage of the incident to establish their role in the violence. The counsel of the accused said that his clients were innocent. He requested the court to send them on judicial remand.
The joint investigation team (JIT) constituted to investigate the incident had earlier detained nine policemen allegedly involved in the Model Town incident. The JIT had interviewed 150 policemen involved in clashes with workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). The JIT detained Sabzazar SHO Sheikh Amir Saleem after interviewing him.
Separately, an anti-terrorism court on Saturday fixed July 26 as the next date for the hearing of a petition regarding the pre-arrest bail of Superintendent of Police (SP) Salman Ali Khan. Khan was accused of ordering policemen to fire at PAT workers. Elite Force in-charge Abdul Rauf had alleged before the JIT that Khan had ordered security personnel to fire at PAT workers. Rauf alleged that the accused had ordered the police to aim for the protestors’ legs. He claimed that the Elite Force personnel had not fired at the protestors till the SP repeated his orders. Rauf said that the policemen fired 200 rounds of ammunition on the demonstrators.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.