Tuesday, August 22, 2023
A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Tuesday granted human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir bail and sent Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir to jail on a 14-day judicial in a case related to "interference in state affairs" and damaging the public property.
Two first information reports (FIR) were registered against Imaan and Wazir on August 19 at the Tarnol police station and Counter-Terrorism Department police station, following a rally of the PTM in the federal capital. They were booked on the charges of sedition, preventing government officials from carrying out their duties and damaging public property.
The Islamabad Capital Police on Sunday claimed to have arrested the human rights lawyer and the PTM leader for “investigations”. On the same day, the duo were produced before a local court in the capital.
Judicial Magistrate Ehtisham Alam Khan sent Mazari to jail on a 14-day judicial remand and handed Wazir to police on a two-day physical remand.
In the meantime, Mazari filed a plea seeking bail in the case which the court approved today.
On the other hand, the PTM leader was produced before the court on the expiry of his two days physical remand. At the outset of today’s hearing, the prosecutor apprised the court that Wazir was not cooperating with the police during the investigations.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the court sent Wazir to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand.
The FIR relating to "interference in state affairs", was filed on the complaint of Tarnol Station House Officer (SHO) Miam Mohammad Imran following the PTM rally, under Sections 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506ii (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Tasked with maintaining law and order situation during a rally of the PTM, the SHO said that he was present with other police officials at Tarnol Phatak Chowk on Friday at 5pm, when the rally — in violation of its NOC — started moving from the place allocated to it.
He maintained that the participants of the rally equipped with batons clashed with the police when law enforcers attempted to stop the rally. The crowd blocked both lanes of GT Road after being stopped by the police, read the FIR.
When the leaders of the PTM and supporters were asked to open the road, they attacked the police and issued threats of dire consequences and damaged vehicles and vandalized nearby shops, said the SHO.
A day earlier, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad granted police three-day physical remand of Mazari and Wazir in the sedition case.
The prosecution had sought a 10-day physical remand of the suspects in a case pertaining to sedition, intimidation, and inciting people.
The cases against them were registered after they delivered a controversial speech at a recent PTM's public rally in the federal capital.
Subsequently, the Islamabad police had arrested Imaan and Wazir in the wee hours of Sunday and secured their remand from a local court in Islamabad the same day.
They were produced in the anti-terrorism court of Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain in the federal capital earlier today.