RAWALPINDI, May 15: Police continue to conduct raids to arrest the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Mohammad Hanif Abbasi and one of his close aides who was wanted by the police for the murder of a Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf supporter on the polling day.
A source informed that the police investigating the murder of a PTI supporter, Usman Farooq, 28, had arrested the father of the man who had been spotted in a video footage firing gunshots with both hands. He added that police raids were continuing to arrest him as he is said to be a close aide of former PML-N MNA Hanif Abbasi.
“Video footages, obtained from different sources helped the police to identify the gunman, and they also showed the contesting candidate, Hanif Abbasi, sitting at his election office and passing instructions to his supporters protesting outside,” a senior police officer close to the investigation told Dawn requesting anonymity.
He said once the gunman was captured by the police and investigated thoroughly, the other accused, including Mr Abbasi, would be taken into custody and later would be implicated in the murder case.
The police official said, “Although the former MNA is not directly nominated in the murder case, he will be investigated because he is visible in the video footages sitting in his election office and passing instructions to his supporters outside Rehmanabad on Saturday evening.”
The election office of Abbasi, located at Ashiyana Center Rehmanabad, had been sealed by the police, who have been conducting raids to arrest the main accused whose name is currently being withheld by the police.
Usman Farooq, who was to be blessed with a baby this month, was killed in a clash between the PTI and PML-N supporters as the latter were celebrating the party’s victory.
Police said bullets fired by the gunmen pierced Usman Farooq’s forehead, while Bilal Khan, Aqeel Khan, Irfan Akhtar and Waseem Naqvi were also injured.
Besides the murder case registered with the New Town police in connection with election related violence, two other cases involving Hanif Abbasi and his supporters have been registered with the New Town and Waris Khan police. However, no arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile, a large number of PTI activists, led by senior vice president Mohammad Zubair, staged a protest outside the PML-N office at Rehmanabad on Wednesday, and demanded the caretaker chief minister Punjab and Inspector General of Police Punjab arrest the killers of Usman Farooq.
The protesters warned the authorities concerned that they would stage another demonstration on Friday, if the killers were not arrested.
They also demanded investigation of the PML-N leader who they claimed was sitting at his election office during the violence.
Later the protesters dispersed peacefully.