FAISALABAD: A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has absolved the PML-N leaders of convening any meeting at the outhouse of former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah to “teach a lesson” to PTI workers during their protest demonstration on Dec 8 last, it is learnt.
The JIT claims to have established it through the cell phone data locations of State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sanaullah, District Coordination Officer Noorul Ameen Mengal, MPA Tahir Jamil and others.
PTI district president Rana Raheel said the party would not accept investigation of the JIT and protest outside the Press Club on Jan 27.
The Punjab government had formed the JIT to investigate the killing of PTI worker Haq Nawaz at Novelty Bridge on Dec 8. Nawaz suffered a stray bullet injury on his chest and breathed his last on way to hospital.
Sources told Dawn the JIT had looked into all aspects of the case registered against Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sana, the DCO, Tahir Jamil and others. In the FIR, applicant Atta Khan, brother of Nawaz, had mentioned that his brother had breathed his last in his hand.
However, the investigation officers through the photographs and videos detected that the applicant was not on the spot when Nawaz was being shifted to the hospital. His call data had revealed that Atta and some other persons (he claimed were on the spot) were somewhere else.
The applicant further told the police that the PML-N leaders including Abid Sher and DCO held a meeting at the outhouse of Rana Sanaullah on Dec 7 as they had been tasked with “teaching a lesson” to the PTI workers.
To check veracity of the claim, the JIT obtained their cell phones data and concluded that Abid Sher and Tahir Jamil were in Lahore at that time. Rana Sana’s location was detected at Circuit House and the DCO house during the time of the meeting on Dec 7, sources said. They said the presence of Mengal also had not been proved at the outhouse of Rana Sana.
After submitting the challan of the Novelty Bridge case, the police would take up the cases registered with other police stations in connection with the PTI workers’ protests.
During interrogation, the police also detected that Ilyas Wattoo, the prime accused in the case who carried Rs5 million bounty on his head, had no affiliation with the PML-N. “He is neither a resident of Samanabad nor a PML-N voter.”
The PTI district head told Dawn that they did not appear before the JIT because of distrust. He said three of the five JIT officers had connections with Rana Sana. He said it was the responsibility of an investigation agency to find out truth by probing the case and circumstantial evidence, and not the phone data, would fix responsibility on the accused.
“There is no doubt about who tried to stop the demonstration, who brought the armed people to Novelty Bridge and who was the beneficiary of the chaos,” he said.
He said the PTI had different options like filing of a private complaint against the accused and seeking termination of the JIT through court.
“We will demonstrate outside the Press Club on Jan 27 to protest the government’s efforts to save its skin through the JIT report,” he added.
A police officer told Dawn that it was a case of sensitive nature and no aspect had been ignored. He said it had been established through evidence that the case got registered by the PTI lacked strength to fix responsibility on the nominated people.
The JIT would submit challan of the case in the last week of this month, he added.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2015