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Thursday April 18, 2024

ATC allows trial of 16 Jinnah House 'vandals' in military court

Judge approves commanding officer request seeking custody of alleged vandals presently confined in Camp Jail

By Naveen Ali
May 25, 2023
Army troops stand guard in the red zone after the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan triggered violent protests by his supporters, in Islamabad on May 11, 2023. — AFP
Army troops stand guard in the "red zone" after the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan triggered violent protests by his supporters, in Islamabad on May 11, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Thursday allowed handing over 16 suspects, allegedly involved in attacking and ransacking Jinnah House during May 9 mayhem, to the military’s commanding officer to prosecute them under the Army Act in line with the decision of high-powered National Security Committee (NSC).

Enraged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, party supporters attacked government and military installations on May 9.

To contain the violence, the government called in the army and announced to try the protesters under army laws. A large number of PTI workers and leaders were arrested in a countrywide crackdown.

In the order issued today, ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan accepted the request of the army officer who had sought the custody of the alleged vandals presently confined in Camp Jail, Lahore.

They were named in two separate cases filed in connection with the attack on Corps Commander House also known as Jinnah House.

The accused include Amar Zohaib, Ali Iftikhar, Ali Raza, Muhammad Arsalan, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Raheem, Ziaur Rehman, Waqas Ali, Raees Ahmad, Faisal Irshad, Muhammad Bilal Hussain, Faheem Haider, Arzam Junaid, Mian Muhammad Akram Usman, Muhammad Hashir Khan, and Hassan Shakir.

“In view of the request made by Irfan Athar, Commanding Officer/Military Officer, duly forwarded by the prosecution as the case of above mentioned accused is exclusively triable by a military court, therefore, while accepting the request of Commanding Officer u/s 549(3) Cr.P.C, read with Rule 7(f) of Criminal Procedure (Military Offenders) Rules 1970, Superintendent, Camp Jail, Lahore is directed to hand over the custody of above said accused to Commanding Officer for further proceedings in accordance with the law,” the order said.

“They are found guilty of offences Under Sections 3,7 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 read with Section 2(1)(d) and 59(4) of Pakistan Army Act, 1952, exclusively triable by Military Court, to the acceptance of which learned DPG did not raise any objection and forwarded the request for appropriate orders.”