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Thursday February 22, 2024

Imran Khan, senior PTI leaders charged with 'attack on police' in Lahore

FIR states that mob of at least 300-400 committed violence in Lahore and used foul language against state institutions

March 09, 2023
PTI workers hold sticks during a rally at Zaman Park, Lahore. — Online
PTI workers hold sticks during a rally at Zaman Park, Lahore. — Online

LAHORE: A case was registered against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and senior party leaders for allegedly attacking the police and "using foul language" against national security institutions in Lahore while Section 144 was imposed in the provincial capital.

The latest setback for the former ruling party came a day after an election rally in Lahore turned violent as the participants clashed with a police party deputed to ensure the implementation of a ban on mass gatherings under Section 144.

The case was lodged by the Raiwand deputy superintendent of police (DSP) under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and sections 147, 149, 353, 186, 302, 324, 188, 427, 290, 291, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR, a mob of at least 300-400 committed violence in the city and used foul language against state institutions.

It stated that the PTI workers abused institutions on the directions of former prime minister Imran Khan, Hassan Niazi, Hammad Azhar, Memoodul Rasheed, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, and Ejaz Chaudhry.

The violent mob pelted stones and attacked police with wooden sticks during which 13 police personnel suffered injuries, while six PTI workers were also hurt due to their own party workers' violence, the FIR added.

PTI calls Mohsin Naqvi ‘General Dyer’

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry berated the interim chief minister of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, after the case was filed against him in Lahore.

Fawad said he is in Islamabad for the last two days where he was busy preparing a petition which will be heard today.

“The situation is that I have been charged with vandalism in Lahore. Guess, which sort of people have been planted by General Dyer Mohsin Naqvi in Lahore.”

Clashes between PTI workers, police

On Wednesday, Punjab police lobbed tear gas shells and baton-charged supporters of Imran Khan in clashes that killed a PTI worker and injured several on both sides. 

The clashes erupted in Lahore ahead of a planned rally to kick-start Khan's election campaign, which the government then had banned by imposing Section 144 for seven days.

The former premier has been demanding snap polls since he was ousted in a parliament vote of confidence last year. His successor has rejected the demand and stated elections would be held as scheduled later this year.

Khan was shot and wounded at one of his own political rallies last year.

Wednesday's rally was banned owing to a threat to the law and order situation as there were International Women's Day gatherings in the area, provincial information minister Amir Mir said, adding supporters attacked the police when they were ordered to disperse.

"In retaliation, police used water cannons, tear gas and batons to disperse them," Mir said. He said at least seven police officials were injured. Twelve workers of PTI were arrested, he added.

Imran Khan's aide Shafqat Mahmood said several of the workers were injured in the clashes, which, he termed, "fascist tactics."

Live TV footage showed the police using extensive teargas shelling on several spots around Khan's Lahore home, with a couple of the workers seen bleeding.

Khan, who has been embroiled in several court cases since his ouster, is wanted in court on March 13 to defend charges that he unlawfully sold state gifts misusing his office from 2018 to 2022.

Later, the PTI called off the rally after the clashes.