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Tuesday Mar 13 2018

Dharna violence cases: ATC seeks report on status of accused


ISLAMABAD: The anti-terrorism court hearing the 2014 dharna violence cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders, including chairperson Imran Khan, resumed its proceedings today.

Four cases pertaining to violence in the capital, including an attack on the state television building, Parliament, and then-SSP Operations Asmatullah Junejo, were filed against leaders and workers of PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) during the 2014 anti-government protests. 

During today's hearing, the police presented an interim charge-sheet against the PTI leaders, naming Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Shafqat Mahmood as accused. 

The court then summoned all three PTI leaders, who are out on bail, to appear in court. Later, Umar appeared in court while Qureshi’s exemption plea for today was approved.

The court also ordered the government today to submit a report on the status of the accused and declared PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and senior PTI leader Jahangir Tareen as perpetual absconders. 

Moreover, PTI leader Ejaz Chaudhry appeared in court today regarding his bail plea, as did PTI MNA Arif Alvi.

At the last hearing, Imran was granted an exemption from appearing in the next hearing. 

A notice for a permanent exemption from appearing before the court in the cases was also issued to the prosecution. In today's hearing, the prosecutor sought time for arguments on Imran’s permanent exemption plea.

2014 dharna violence

On September 1, 2014, violence broke out in the federal capital when PTI and PAT supporters attempted to break a police cordon and storm the PM House, using cranes to remove barricades.

The decision to march to the PM House was taken after talks between the government, PTI and PAT had failed to end the deadlock over the resignation of the then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The two parties were protesting 'rigging' in the 2013 general elections.

The clashes between police and protesters resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to over 560.

Of the injured, 77 were security officials deployed in the Red Zone, including SSP Junejo, had to spend several days in the ICU due to the serious nature of his injuries.

It was Junejo's first day on the post, after assuming command from SSP Operations Ali Nekokara. Junejo, known as an upright officer, was recently posted back to the capital as the assistant inspector general (operations). 


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