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Saturday July 20, 2024

PTI protests against arrests of workers, registration of cases against lawmakers

By Zia Ur Rehman
March 22, 2022

The Sindh Assembly members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday organised a protest outside the Central Police Office against the arrest of their party workers and the registration of cases against lawmakers for staging a protest outside the residence of a disgruntled PTI MNA.

A group of workers led by MPAs Shah Nawaz Jadoon and Saeed Afridi organised a sit-in outside the residence of ‘rebel’ MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani in the Clifton area on Sunday. A heavy contingent of police reached the scene to avoid any untoward incident. The protesters dispersed peacefully after successful negotiations with the police.

However, police registered cases against PTI workers, including Jadoon and Afridi, on charges of threatening a person. The PTI claimed that police had also arrested party leader Murad Sheikh and his family members.

On Monday, Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh, parliament leader Khurram Sherzaman, PTI Karachi president Bilal Ghaffar and all the party’s provincial lawmakers gathered outside the Central Police Office, demanding of the police not to act against their party’s lawmakers and leaders on behalf of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. They claimed that the party workers staged the protest at a distance from the residence of Vankwani.

“Is it a crime to call Lota [turncoat] a Lota?” Sheikh asked the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) while talking to the media.

He censured the police for registering cases against the party leaders and lawmakers under the Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 365. “The Sindh government had pressurised police to register false cases against the PTI workers, but we are not afraid of the arrests,” he said.

“The IGP is only interested in registering the cases. We [lawmakers] are here; either arrest us or withdraw the cases,” Sheikh asked the IGP.

Afridi, who led the protest outside disgruntled MNA’s residence on Sunday, said we organised the protest at a distance from Vankwani’s residence, and police started harassing the PTI’s workers by arresting and registering cases against them.

Cases registered

Police have registered a case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and workers for protesting and rioting outside the house of the PTI’s dissident Member National Assembly (MNA) Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, adds our correspondent.

FIR No. 176/22 was registered at the Boat Basin police station against PTI members provincial assembly (MPAs), including Shahnawaz Jadoon and Saeedullah Afridi, under sections 147, 148, 149, 457, 506-B, 353, 186, 365 and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Police said MPAs Jadoon and Afridi arrived in a truck, along with 50 to 60 other people, outside the residence of Vankwani near Clifton’s Bath Island and started shouting slogans against the MNA.

The protesters called Vankwani a Lota (turncoat) and also threatened him and his family with kidnapping. The PTI claimed that two to four party workers were arrested.

The PTI claimed that the District South police took several of their workers, brothers and relatives during different raids. PTI leader Raja Azhar also held a protest outside the Clifton police station and shouted slogans against the alleged arrests. He asked the Karachi police chief to take action against the District South SSP.

Police denied arresting any party worker or any of their family members.

PTI Karachi President Bilal Ghaffar claimed that Murad Shaikh was among the arrested party members. Ghaffar said Shaikh was former president of the PTI’s District South chapter and a senior party worker. He claimed that the police raided his house without a warrant.

PTI leaders and workers also held protests outside the Preedy police station and the Central Police Office.