Jail Bharo Tehreek: Pleas filed for releasing detained PTI leaders

Shahid Hussain
PTI leaders in a prison van during the partys Jail Bharo Tehreek (court arrest movement) in Lahore on February 22, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIOfficial
PTI leaders in a prison van during the party's "Jail Bharo Tehreek (court arrest movement)" in Lahore on February 22, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIOfficial

  • Pleas seek recovery and release of PTI leaders.
  • Petitions claim leaders' whereabouts unknown.
  • They had voluntarily surrendered themselves.

LAHORE: Several pleas were filed Thursday in the Lahore High Court (LHC) for releasing the detained Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders — who were put behind bars as they voluntarily surrendered themselves to police a day earlier in line with their "Jail Bharo Tehreek (court arrest movement)".

The PTI members — including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Azam Swati, and other senior leaders — were taken into police custody Wednesday evening near Lahore's Mall Road, on the day the court arrest movement began.

In his petition, Zain Qureshi appealed to the LHC to order authorities to produce his father — the PTI vice chairman — who is being kept in wrongful detention.

"Shah Mahmood was taken into custody yesterday and I am not being informed about his whereabouts."

PTI Senator Ijaz Chaudhry also filed pleas for the recovery of at least eight PTI leaders — Umar, Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, Waleed Iqbal, Senator Swati, Murad Ras, Jaan Madni, Azam Niazi, and Ahsan Dogar.

Chaudhry, in the petition, has made additional chief secretary (home), inspector general of Punjab (IG), and capital city police officer (CCPO) parties in the case.

The senator said that the IG and CCPO arrested PTI leaders from Mall Road, then transferred them to Camp Jail, and later on, they were taken to Kot Lakhpat Jail.

"The leaders are not even being provided medicines and food." The petition further said that the leaders are being kept in wrongful detention. "To defame and hurt them, fake cases can be made against them."

Chaudhry said that there was no reason to keep them behind bars and urged the court to direct police to produce the leaders before the LHC and not resort to any illegal steps.

Following the submission of the pleas, the cases have been fixed before Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry for Friday.

The senior leaders — Qureshi, Umar, and Swati, along with numerous party workers — had voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Lahore police.

The movement, according to the PTI rationale, aims to counter the "attack on constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights" and the "economic meltdown" by the incumbent government".

PTI Lahore President Sheikh Imtiaz had claimed that 47 leaders and workers were arrested on Wednesday, however, police officials said that the number stood at around 80.