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LHC seeks report on identification of May 9 rioters

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2023

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has called a report of the completion of the identification of the accused arrested in connection with the May 9 riots and directed the police to identify the accused with the help of CCTV cameras.

Hearing a petition by Kulsoom Arshad seeking the release of her son Shoaib Arshad, who had been kept in jail even after release in the wait for an identification parade, Justice Anwarul Haq Pannun observed that peaceful protests was the right of everyone, though the rioting of May 9 was not condonable. The judge observed that the issue could not be solved with the use of state power as it is 2023 now and not 1970.

The petitioner had challenged the re-arrest after the release of her son. Appearing before the court, DIG Investigation Kamran Adil submitted a report about the recovery of the petitioner's son. He told the court that the accused had been caught and sent to jail for an identification parade after the permission of the magistrate. The court inquired as to how many accused had been sent to jail for the identification parade so far, the DIG said that 427 accused were currently in jail for the identification parade. The court then inquired about the total accused sent to jail for the identification parade so far, to which the DIG said a total of 900 accused had been sent for identification. The judge asked him how a culprit could be identified from more than 900 accused, and why not the police had taken help from CCTV footage of the area.

The DIG told the court that the CCTV cameras had been broken during the riots. He said about 427 accused has been identified, and 150 were to appear in the identification parade. “Cases were registered in 54 police stations, and geo-fencing, CCTV footage, and social media were used for the identification of the accused. Over 80 percent of the accused have been identified,” he added. The judge asked what would be done with the remaining 20 percent, the DIG said that cases against them would be quashed.