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ATC denies bail to Haleem Adil Sheikh

Karachi

March 2, 2021

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday dismissed the bail applications of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Sheikh and four others in criminal cases pertaining to charges of violence and attempted murder.

Sheikh, who is the leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly, and his four companions were arrested after violence that broke out in District Malir during the by-election conducted n provincial assembly constituency in PS-88 on February 16.

He was later booked in four cases on charges of instigating violence, committing rioting, causing terror, attempting to murder, and obstructing and attacking government officials during the demolition of his farmhouse.

Pronouncing the verdict, the ATC-II judge said that Sheikh allegedly disturbed the voting at the Darsana Channa polling station, and on his orders Ramzan, Mehmood and Ghulam Mustafa had fired shots in the air to create terror. Meanwhile, Abdul Haseeb, armed with a baton, damaged the windscreen of a police mobile.

The judge noted that Sheikh was allegedly the main character in the offence; therefore, neither he nor his companions, except Mustafa, were entitled to the grant of bail; hence, their

applications are dismissed accordingly.

Mustafa was ordered to submit a surety of Rs50,000 and a PR bond of the same amount to secure his release. Arguing in favour of the bail, the defence attorney for Sheikh had said that his client was being subjected to political victimisation and these cases had been concocted against him on the instructions of the Sindh government.

He added that neither the presiding officer at the said polling station complained about the disturbance in the voting process nor the facts bespoke of attempt on anyone life. He said that since Sheikh was a staunch critic of the policies of the provincial government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party, and he was framed with ulterior motives.

The prosecutor, on the other hand, argued that Sheikh had caused terror at the polling station and scared away voters, while his accomplices had resorted to firing and they were arrested on the spot along with different weapons.

He added that the police had strong evidences to prove the offence against the suspects, and in such a situation granting bail to them could affect the investigation. He pleaded with the court to dismiss the applications.

The judge also dismissed Sheikh’s bail application in the second case registered on charges of attacking officials of the anti-encroachment department and police, and obstructing the demolition of his farmhouse in Solangi Goth on February 6.

However, the judge approved the bail application of another PTI leader, Samir Mir Shaikh, and 10 others in the same case against a surety of Rs50,000 and a PR bond in the like amount each.