BANNU: A local court sent MNA Ali Wazir to Peshawar Central Prison on Tuesday after he completed eight days on remand in custody with the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

Amid strict security measures on Tuesday, Ali Wazir, one of the central leaders of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), was produced before civil judge and judicial magistrate Shoaib Ahmad, who was magistrate on duty, as the special anti-terrorism court judge Babar Ali Khan was unavailable due to holiday.

CTD officials accompanying Mr Wazir requested the court for further physical custody, reasoning that the investigation was still under way.

The court rejected their request and sent Mr Wazir to prison on judicial remand.

The MNA was arrested on May 26 after a clash between security forces and PTM activists near Kharqamar check post at Macha Madakhel in North Waziristan tribal district.

The special court on May 27 had remanded him in CTD custody for eight days and had directed them to produce him in court on June 4.

The FIR of the check post incident was registered at CTD Police Station, Bannu Range, by SHO Mohammad Jalil Khan under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance and Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act.

The complainant alleged that Wazir and eight other PTM leaders, including MNA Mohsin Dawar, carried firearms and with 300 to 350 of their stick-wielding supporters approached the check post and raised slogans against Pakistan Army and other security agencies.

The provoked persons allegedly started hurling stones at the check post while Wazir, Dawar and others started firing, resulting in injuries to army personnel as well as general public, three of whom were killed.

The allegations were however refuted by Dawar, who surrendered to the administration after a couple of day at the request of a jirga. On May 30 he was remanded by the special court to CTD custody for eight days. He will next be produced before the court on June 7.

Meanwhile, in Peshawar a magistrate on duty sent to prison two PTM activists, Gherat Khan and Maulana Tahir, residents of Charsadda and Dera Ismail Khan, respectively, and set free on bail Naseeb Nasir, resident of Zhob, and Hameed Wazir, resident of Bannu, arrested a day earlier by local police on charges of violating an administration order against holding of public gatherings.

Hayatabad Police Station personnel on Monday removed a sit-in of the movement, which began on May 26 after the Kharqamar incident, and also baton-charged participants.

The police claimed that the administration had imposed Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code against public gatherings, which was violated by PTM members.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2019