DERA GHAZI KHAN/MUZAFFARGARH: Police arrested MNA Jamshed Ahmed Dasti in a case minutes before he was scheduled to be brought out from the Central Jail after the Anti-Terrorism Court approved his bail application in a different case on Friday.

A Muzaffargarh police team reached the Dera Ghazi Khan Central Jail to arrest the Awami Raj Party chairman in another case the Civil Lines police had registered against him back in his hometown.

Later in the day, the MNA was produced before Additional District and Sessions Judge Shahbaz Ahmed who allowed six-day judicial remand of the accused.

It is learnt that the visitors including his mother and sister were not allowed to meet him. Earlier, political leaders were denied a meeting with the MNA in Multan’s Central Jail.

As he was expected to be released on Friday on the basis of acceptance of his bail, a number of activists of his party reached the jail, where they raised slogans and danced to the beat of drum. Their elation proved short-lived as they were told that Dasti would be arrested in a case 298/17 the Civil Lines police registered against him.

The party workers staged a sit-in and demanded that their leader be released. They offered symbolic funeral prayers for the ruling party.

A Punjab police contingent cordoned off the area around the central prison and District Police Officer Sajjad Hussain Gujjar also reached there to ensure proper security.

A source said the accused was wanted in yet another case that was registered in Okara.

Earlier, the DG Khan Anti-Terrorism Court approved the bail application of Dasti. His legal team said the bail had been confirmed but the jail superintendent did not release him till evening.

Sources said DSPs of Muzaffargarh and Kot Addu went to the jail and asked the authorities to hand over Dasti to police but the jail superintendent refused. His supporters also vowed to resist his arrest.

Awami Raj Party General Secretary Rana Mahboob Akhtar said Dasti had been cleared in five cases.

Mian Asif Khudai, a PTI leader in Muzaffargarh, expressed his party’s support for Dasti.

A police officer disclosed that Dasti would not be released because of his involvement in delivering “hate speech”.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2017