FAISALABAD: Punjab police attempted to record the statement of Tallal Chaudhry after the attack on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader in Faisalabad, only to find his hospital room empty, authorities said on Sunday.
The hospital staff told the officers that Chaudhry had been discharged an hour earlier when the team arrived to take the PML-N leader’s statements.
Chaudhry, former state minister for interior, received injuries in his left shoulder and other parts of the body when unidentified individuals stopped his vehicle and physically tortured him at midnight on September 23. However, the incident was not reported until September 26.
According to the police, he was on his way to Madina Town from his home in Faisalabad when the incident happened.
Rumours circulating on social media allege a love affair between Chaudhry and Ayesha Rajab Ali, a PML-N MP from Faisalabad, in which the former was saddened by the “disloyalty” shown by the latter. He, subsequently, tried to forcefully enter her house and as a result, was beaten by her brothers.
Police said that four-person committee would contact both Chaudhry and Ayesha as soon as possible, while the PML-N formed its own three-person committee to look into the matter. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) alleged that the attack was conducted by the parliamentarian’s brothers, as Chaudhry had supposedly been harassing her.
The four-member committee, headed by SDPO Peoples Colony Abdul Khaliq, would look into the incident, according to senior superintendent of police (SSP) operations of Faisalabad. The other members of the committee are SHO Madina Town Aftab Waseem, SHO Women police station Farah Batool and TSI Bilal.
The committee has been tasked with “ascertain(ing) the facts regarding the incident that took place between Ms Ayesha Rajab Ali (MNA) and Mr Muhammad Talal Chaudhry (ex-MNA)”. Members of the committee are also directed to record statements of both Chaudhry and Ali and submit a report of their findings along with recommendations of “suitable legal action” within three days.
According to SDPO Khaliq its members had gone to Ali’s residence earlier today to record her statement but were told that she, along with her family, had gone to Islamabad.
“[If] we have to go to Islamabad to record a statement, we will go,” he said and added that the committee will also contact Chaudhry to record his statement.
“The news about me being broadcast based on sources is not rooted in facts,” Chaudhry said on Twitter. “Until my position is presented, please do not run any news that may create misunderstandings and resentments.”
He added that it had “nothing to do with any woman MNA” and requested the media to “understand the familial sensitivities pertaining to women”.
“The honour and dignity of all mothers, sisters, and daughters should be taken care of. It’s reprehensible for some government miscreants to politicise the incident,” he stated.
Furthermore, the female MP’s brother claimed that while the attack did take place near their house, they were not involved. “Chaudhry is like a brother to us,” he added, saying they often met to discuss politics.