Uproar on social media as wife of Gill’s driver jailed along with toddler

ISLAMABAD: Social media activists were up in arms as a district and sessions court in Islamabad on Thursday jailed wife of driver of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill along with her minor daughter.

The court also granted Islamabad police’s request for physical remand of brother-in-law of Gill’s driver’s brother-in-law. The court announced its judgment shortly after reserving it after hearing the accused’s counsel’s arguments.

“Political prisoner in Pakistan…!!! What a shame this imported Government has brought To us💔,”
wrote an activist on social media blogging site, Twitter.

“Shame on @ICT_Police – you must release wife of Izhar driver immediately- their one year old daughter is without the mother. What kind of messed up govt is this. Harassing females in the house. Torturing young infants. People of pakistan must speak against the tyrants,” tweeted Hassan Nizai, a leading lawyer.

“I precisely remember bail being granted to Maryam N convicted for corruption money & mother of Zahir Jaffir on the pretext pf being women. So now Shahbaz Gills Drivers wife with no nexus to the case & a suckling baby he’s committed a bigger crime & deserves to be in jail! Shame,” wrote former state minister Maleeka Bukhari.

“Despite @faisal_fareed her lawyer pointing out to the judge precedence of Nasim Bibi Vs State case 2019 MLD 1157 LHC Lahore where bail is to be granted to mothers with suckling babies. Shameful silence of self proclaimed women rights & HR defenders. Selectivity/donor pressure? wrote former human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari.

Following the court announcing its judgment, the counsel for the wife filed a post-arrest bail petition, on which the court later issued notices. Judicial Magistrate Salman Badar has summoned the police and prosecutor tomorrow, asking for the wife to kept in jail tonight.

Earlier this week, Gill was arrested on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions. Following Gill’s arrest, the ICT police raided his driver’s home and maintained that the driver’s family had protested in a government car.

During court proceedings today, the accused’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry said that the incident took place at 9pm last night and claimed there was “video evidence proving that the police entered [the driver’s house] without a warrant”.

The lawyer also claimed that the police had vandalized the accused’s home and also beaten them.

“We were to file a petition for habeas corpus today but the police released the news to the media,” said the advocate as he argued that “considering the role the woman played in the case posits her to be discharged” since “all but one provision in the suit are bailable offences”.

During the proceedings, the accused’s 10-month old daughter began crying and was prevented from meeting her mother upon which Civil Judge Salman Badr ordered the girl to be brought to her in the courtroom.

When the judge asked the woman if she wanted to say something, she stated that “the police broke the door and entered [the house], we only came to know [of the incident] when the police had reached our bedroom. Our privacy was not even considered”.

“More than 20 police officers entered the bedroom and tortured us,” added Nauman.

“The police entered without a warrant and violated the sanctity of the home,” argued the lawyer.

Advocate Chaudhry was snubbed by the judge for “mentioning Shahbaz Gill’s arrest in another case” and directed to “restrict the arguments to the present case”.

Earlier in the day, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police stated that the raid conducted on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill’s driver’s house was ‘legal’.

In a tweet, the Islamabad police stated that they were collecting “all evidence” related to the case.

“Wherever legal action is required, the police will do its job,” they said, adding that the scope of this particular case could be extended to other provinces beyond Islamabad.

According to the police, legal action will be taken against those who were found to be “concealing evidence or erasing evidence”.

Advising people to not pay attention to fake news, they claimed that action will also be taken against those spreading “false news and incitement” among the people.

“Islamabad Capital Police will ensure the enforcement of the law,” it maintained.

The federal government confirmed on Tuesday that it had arrested PTI leader Shahbaz Gill for sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.

Addressing a press conference following the arrest, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah along with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Gill was arrested by the Islamabad Police after lodging an FIR.

He said a “conspiratorial role” of a private TV channel has also come to the fore, adding that Shahbaz Gill, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and the channel’s administration played the role on the instruction of Imran Khan.

The minister furthered that negative propaganda was spread against the martyrs of the army helicopter crash on social media.

“An attempt was made to incite mutiny and sedition in the Pakistan Army ranks and files. This whole conspiracy is being investigated and the conspiratorial characters are being determined,” he added.

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