LAHORE: A sessions court in the provincial capital on Wednesday gave the Lahore Civil Lines station house officer (SHO) a deadline till Friday to explain why he did not register a case against Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) head Ashraf Jalali and other individuals earlier this month.
A citizen had filed a petition over the SHO’s failure to register an FIR [first information report] over threatening statements made by the leaders against the top judiciary and inciting armed forces personnel to mutiny during protests staged against the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Aasia Bibi.
While the court had previously directed the concerned SHO to submit a report on Wednesday, he failed to appear before the court.
According to the petition, “the local police is reluctant to take action against the accused [due to] their presence in the ruling class and having direct contacts with the police and others.”
A copy of the application to lodge an FIR, dated November 1 and addressed to the Civil Lines SHO, states that TLP leaders had threatened the judges of the Supreme Court, passed an edict to murder the country’s constitutional prime minister and incited their party workers to spark riots.
The petitioner urged the court to initiate proceedings against the leaders of the religio-political parties and police officials who are reluctant in registering a case over the matter.
The protests began on October 31, when the SC announced the decision to acquit Aasia and lasted till Nov 2 when the government signed an agreement with the protesters.
The protesters blocked multiple roads across the country and set fire to vehicles at certain locations.
The government then initiated a countrywide crackdown against those involved in vandalism and arson during the protests. Approximately 1,800 individuals were arrested and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). However, the government later announced that it would not make any further arrests and even exonerated TLP from the violent incidents.
On November 6, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the vandalism during the protests.
Last week, the Punjab government submitted a report regarding the losses suffered during the protests.
According to the report, public and private property worth Rs260 million was damaged during the three-day protests by TLP activists.