ZUBAIR QURESHI Islamabad
An Islamabad district and sessions court on Saturday confirmed the pre-arrest bail of PTI chairman Imran Khan in ten cases pertaining to alleged violence and damage to public property during the party’s “Azadi March” dated May 25.
The former Prime Minister appeared in the court of Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti alongside his counsel Babar Awan and PTI leader Shahbaz Gill.
Imran Khan had applied for pre-arrest bail in 15 FIRs registered against him at 11 police stations of the federal capital.
During the hearing Saturday, Awan said that his client had been booked in 15 cases of the “same nature” and requested the court to grant his client bail.
At this, the judge asked the prosecutor if he had any objections.
The court, subsequently, confirmed Imran’s pre-arrest bail in 10 cases and instructed him to submit surety bonds of Rs 5,000 each.
In another case, registered under sections of treason at the Kohsar police station, the court granted the PTI chief interim bail. The judge has summoned the record of the case at the next hearing, scheduled on September 8.
On May 26, a first information report (FIR) was registered at 1:50am at the Kohsar police station at the complaint of Sub-Inspector (SI) Asif Raza under Sections 109 (abetment), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public service), 188 (disobedience), 353 (assault on public servant), 427 (causing damage) and 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
SI Raza, in the FIR, said he was on duty, along with other police personnel, at Jinnah Avenue’s China Chowk when at 11pm, 100-150 people with PTI flags suddenly moved towards Express Chowk. He said the police tried to stop the PTI supporters due to the imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad but they did not listen and instead allegedly pelted stones at the police officers and also set fire to trees.
Raza said 36 individuals, who were acting at the behest of Imran and other PTI leaders, were “brought under control”.
Meanwhile, the second FIR was registered at 3:20am on the complaint of SI Ghulam Sarwar under the same sections as the prior FIR. Sarwar claimed that he and other police officers were on duty at Express Chowk when at 12:30am, 100-150 PTI protesters — allegedly equipped with rods and flammable materials — “chanted slogans, incited people and set fire to the trees and Metro Bus station” near Geo Chowk, along with smashing the windows of Geo News’ office.
SI Sarwar alleged that as the police tried to disperse the crowd, the PTI workers resorted to pelting stones and also damaged a government bus. He added that 39 individuals were subsequently arrested.
Besides, on May 28, a report revealed that 11 more cases were registered against the PTI leadership, including Imran, and other PTI activists under different sections of the PPC by the Lohi Bher, Secretariat police, Aabapra police, Golra police, Bhara Kahu police, Tarnol police, and Koral police among others.