Imran Khan, senior PTI leaders booked for ‘attacking police’ in Lahore

Supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan, react amid tear gas smoke fired by the police to disperse them during clashes ahead of an election campaign rally, in Lahore, Pakistan March 8, 2023. —Reuters
  • Section 7 of ATA, and multiple sections PPC included in FIR.
  • FIR claims PTI workers abused institutions on the directions of leaders.
  • Fawad says he is in Islamabad for last two days.

LAHORE: Senior leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) including its chairman Imran Khan were booked in a case for “attacking police” and “using foul language” against national security institutions in Lahore after Section 144 was imposed in the provincial capital.

According to the first information report (FIR), filed on behalf of the deputy superintendent of police Raiwand, a mob of at least 300-400 committed violence in the city and used foul language against the state institutions.

The FIR was lodged today under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), and Sections 147, 149, 353, 186, 302, 324, 188, 427, 290, 291, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR added that the PTI workers abused the institutions on the directions of former prime minister Imran Khan, Hassan Niazi, Hammad Azhar, Memoodul Rasheed, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, and Ejaz Chaudhry.

It stated that the violent mob pelted stones and attacked police with wooden sticks during which 13 police personnel suffered injuries while six PTI workers were also hurt due to their own party workers’ violence.

PTI calls Mohsin Naqvi ‘General Dyer’

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry berated the interim Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi after the case was filed against him in Lahore.

Fawad said he is in Islamabad for the last two days where he was busy preparing a petition which will be heard today.

“The situation is that I have been charged with vandalism in Lahore. Guess, which sort of people have been planted by General Dyer Mohsin Naqvi in Lahore.”

Clashes between PTI workers, police

On Wednesday, Punjab police lobbed tear gas shells and baton-charged supporters of Imran Khan in clashes which injured several on both sides.

The clashes erupted in Lahore ahead of a Khan’s planned rally to kick-start his election campaign, but which the government then banned by imposing Section 144 for seven days.

The former premier has been demanding snap polls since he was ousted in a parliament vote of confidence last year. His successor has rejected the demand and stated elections would be held as scheduled later this year.

Khan was shot and wounded at one of his own political rallies last year.

Wednesday’s rally was banned owing to a threat to the law and order situation as there were International Women’s Day gatherings in the area, provincial information minister Amir Mir said, adding supporters attacked the police when they were ordered to disperse.

“In retaliation, police used water cannons, tear gas and batons to disperse them,” Mir said. He said at least seven police officials were injured. Twelve workers of PTI were arrested, he added.

Imran Khan’s aide Shafqat Mahmood said several of the workers were injured in the clashes, which, he termed, “fascist tactics.”

Live TV footage showed the police using extensive teargas shelling on several spots around Khan’s Lahore home, with a couple of the workers seen bleeding.

Khan, who has been embroiled in several court cases since his ouster, is wanted in court on March 13 to defend charges that he unlawfully sold state gifts misusing his office from 2018 to 2022.

PTI called off the rally after the clashes.

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