LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court sentenced on Thursday Gullu Butt, the infamous character of the Model Town tragedy, to 11 years and three months in jail.
Shahid Aziz alias Gullu Butt was accused of smashing private vehicles with a club outside the Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town on June 17 when police tried to remove barriers from outside the residence of Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Police personnel did not stop Butt, rather they were seen encouraging him. Gullu Butt’s act of vandalism was caught by TV cameras.
Faisal Town police had registered a case against Gullu Butt.
He gave conflicting statements before the court. He denied having smashed vehicles, but in several media talks he regretted his act. In his bail petition before the Lahore High Court, Butt even claimed that he was not present at the scene. Gullu Butt said he did not smash the vehicles but their windowpanes.
The court also imposes fines of Rs140,100
Talking to media before announcement of the verdict, Gullu Butt said he could not be convicted because he did not commit a heinous crime.
Gullu Butt was awarded rigorous imprisonment of five years under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, three months under Section 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code (obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions), two years under Section 353 of the PPC (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), two years under Section 427 of the PPC (mischief causing damage and smashing vehicles) and two years under Section 506 of the PPC (punishment for criminal intimidation).
“All the sentences shall run concurrently,” judge Rai Mohammad Ayub Khan Marth said in his order. The court also imposed fines totalling Rs140,100 on the convict.
After announcement of the judgement, counsel for Gullu Butt said the conviction would be challenged before the high court.
The prosecution produced nine witnesses, including a cameraman of the Pakistan Television.
All the witnesses testified against Gullu Butt. No independent witness was produced before the court.
Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2014