ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have lodged a First Information Report (FIR), including charges of terrorism, against Imran Khan and more than a dozen leaders of his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party for allegedly attacking police officers and causing chaos outside the judicial complex in the capital on Sunday.
As the motorcade of Khan, who arrived in Islamabad to appear before a judge to face charges he sold state gifts while in office and hid his assets, arrived near the complex Saturday afternoon, his supporters clashed with police and overzealous paramilitary units who prevented them from entering the building.
The enraged protestors threw rocks at police who responded by lobbing tear gas canisters to disperse them. Rana Sanaullah Khan, the interior minister, claimed many of Khan’s supporters were armed, but offered no evidence.
According to Station House Officer (SHO) Malik Rashid Ahmed at Ramna, a complaint was registered at the Islamabad Counter-Terrorism Department against Khan and at least 17 party leaders.
The FIR invokes several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including rioting, obstruction of a public servant in the discharge of public functions, and theft, among others.
It also includes Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, which outlines the punishment for acts of terrorism. The SHO Ahmed said the suspects violated Section 144, which was imposed in Islamabad on the day of the incident, and blocked the road for traffic.
The FIR names PTI secretary general Asad Umar, former deputy speaker Asad Qaiser, and leaders Hammad Azhar, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Nawaz Awan, Murad Saeed, Shibli Faraz, Hassaan Khan Niazi, Omer Ayub Khan, Amjad Khan Niazi, Khurram Nawaz, Jamshed Mughal, Aamir Kiyani, Farrukh Habib, Dr Shehzad Waseem, Umer Sultan, and Khan’s chief security officer retired lieutenant colonel Muhammad Asim.
It also names 18 people involved in causing damage to the court, 22 others involved in causing damage in the parking area and lighting up fires, and 19 others involved in allegedly injuring police officials.
It mentions that stones, lighters, and bottles filled with petrol were recovered from some of them.
Ahmed alleged that PTI workers were armed with stones which they threw at a checkpost of the Dhoke Kashmirian police station. They also burnt down barriers and tents at the checkpost before surrounding the Judicial Complex and breaking down its main gate.
Another group of protestors allegedly set fire to 16 government and police vehicles and four motorcycles in the parking area of the court, and allegedly took pistols, cash, and a wireless set from a police vehicle, he claimed.
The complainant further said the protesters snatched eight anti-riot kits from the policemen, hit police officers with sticks, and hurled stones at them.