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January 16, 2020

ATC acquits all accused in Bilawal Bhutto Zardari rally attack case

Karachi

January 16, 2020

An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday acquitted all accused nominated by police to have attacked an election rally of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Lyari.

The court observed that the prosecution failed to prove the offence on the accused and exonerated them from the charges.

In July 2018, police had registered a terrorism case against over 400 angry protesters, who allegedly attacked Bilawal’s motorcade during his rally in the once-stronghold of the PPP.

The protestors pelted stones at the motorcade and chanted anti-PPP slogans. A clash between the protestors and the PPP workers was averted after Bilawal changed his route.

The PPP chairman contested the 2018 election from the NA-246 among other constituencies. He, however, lost in Lyari, falling 3,000 votes short of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan runner-up Ahmed Bakhsh and 12,000 votes of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf winner Abdul Shakoor Shad.

The FIR of the attack was registered on the behalf of the then SHO of the Kalakot police station, Abdul Ghaffar, who nominated then Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan candidate for PS-107 Rafiq Hingoro, Haji Bawa, Ismail, Naveed, Kamran, Karim Adam, Kashan, Siddiq, Imran, Umer, Kabeer Hingoro and Rasheed Jatt.

The case was registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 268 (public nuisance), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The prosecution had alleged that the nominated persons lead the protestors who blocked the road to stop the rally and threw stones at the vehicles. As a result, half a dozen people, including constable Muhamamd Afzal, Amir Baloch and Yahya Jamil, were injured and several vehicles, including police mobiles, were damaged.