The Islamabad police have booked PTI leaders on terrorism charges in the wake of protests after former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the Toshakhana reference, it emerged on Saturday.
In reaction to the ECP decision, PTI workers across Pakistan took to the streets on Friday to protest the decision against their party chief. Party chief Imran Khan later called for an end to the protests.
In Islamabad, a PTI MNA was arrested along with his two police guards by the capital police over an alleged firing incident outside the ECP office.
Faizabad, the border between Punjab and the federal territory, remained a site of clashes between the police and PTI workers and thick clouds of tear gas enveloped the interchange.
A first information report (FIR) was registered on Friday, available with Dawn.com, on the complaint of Subinspector Inamullah at Islamabad’s I-9 police station. The FIR was registered under Sections 109 (abetment), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 186 (obstructing public servant), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief causing damage amounting to Rs50) and 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The FIR said police officers in an official vehicle were posted at Faizabad to maintain the law, order and security situation after information was received on Thursday that a possible decision could come against the PTI chief.
The FIR added that around 8pm on Friday, a large PTI rally of around 1,000 to 1,200 people carrying sticks and rods started moving towards Faizabad.
The criminal complaint names PTI leaders Amir Kiani, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, Faisal Javed Khan, Raja Rashid Hafeez, Umer Tanveer Butt, Rashid Naseem Abbasi, Raja Majid as allegedly leading the large group, who were informed via loudspeaker to disperse immediately since the gathering was against the law.
“On the leadership’s incitement, the demonstrators started pelting stones at the police, FC (Frontier Constabulary) and administration due to which police and FCC officers were injured and immediately shifted to the hospital,” the report reads.
It added that the demonstrators advanced while running over the police contingent with vehicles with the “intent to kill” and announcing that they would reach the Election Commission of Pakistan at any cost and did not accept any law.
“The demonstrators on the leadership’s incitement set fire to trees in Faizabad and the surrounding area,” the FIR reads.
It added that tear gas was used to control the crowd and every participant in it attracted the violation of the law.
The FIR said that the crowd had joint and orderly intent after planning and on the instructions of its leaders attacked the police force, disturbed the law and order situation, set fire to trees, damaged official property, injured police officers and spread “fear and harassment” among the public.