Pakistan: Nearly 2,000 booked over anti-ECP protests


ISLAMABAD: At least seven cases have been registered against more than 1,900 suspects, including sen­ior leaders of the Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), on various charges that also include terrorism, in connection with Saturday’s protests against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to disqualify former prime minister Imran Khan, Dawn has learnt.

Cases registered against the party leadership at the Secretariat, Industrial Area, Shahzad Town, Sihala, Sangjani, Khanna and Bhara Kahu police stations accuse them of blocking roads, attacking police personnel and destroying public and private property.

Former PM Imran Khan and a number of PTI leaders have been charged by Secretariat police under sections 109, 148, 149, 324 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on the complaint of PML-N leader Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha. He claimed he was attacked at the behest of PTI leaders, adding that his vehicle was also damaged in the attack.

Industrial Area police have nominated seven people and named 1,200 other PTI activists, said to be armed with batons, under 7ATA along with other charges for pelting police and FC personnel with stones at Faizabad.

These people are also accused of trying to run police personnel over with their vehicles and setting trees on fire.

Similarly, Sangjani police have nominated six persons and named another 100 as being charged under 7ATA along with other sections of the PPC for blocking Srinagar Highway and attacking police personnel on the behest of Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Ali Nawaz Awan and others.

Meanwhile, the case at Shahzad Town police station nominated six people alongside 150 others for blocking Taramri chowck, armed with batons and iron rods and setting fire to tyres.

The case at Sihala police station has 11 people nominated along with 100 others for blocking the GT Road, while Khanna police have nominated 15 people in their FIR alongside 250 other activists for an armed gathering at Iqbal Town where they blocked the Islamabad Expressway and attacked the police party there.

The case at Bhara Kahu police station nominated 29 people along with 235 others for blocking Athal Chowk with an armed mob and threatening police personnel.

In addition, after a terrorism case was registered against PTI lawmaker Saleh Mohammad Khan Swati of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two of his personal guards at the Secretariat Police Station late on Friday night, Islamabad police later shared a photo of the MNA standing in front of a police panaflex with an identification board hanging around his neck, inscribed with the details of the case against him.

Senior officers told Dawn that the photo was first shared in a group of senior police officers, from where it spread.

It is usually habitual criminals and those involved in heinous crimes, like robbery and terrorism, who are photographed by police as part of the Criminal Record Office (CRO) profiling process, sources explained. A number of senior officers had expressed their displeasure over the photo being released to the public, sources told Dawn.

The MNA and his two guards were later produced in a court of law, from where they were sent to jail on judicial remand.

Separately, capital police also registered a case against former accountability czar Mirza Shahzad Akbar, officials of the FIA and model Sophia Mirza on charges of conspiracy, forgery and misuse of public office.

The case was registered at Secretariat police station in response to a complaint lodged by Umar Farooq Zahoor, Ms Mirza’s