BANNU: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday turned down the bail petitions of MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar in the Kharqamar clash incident in which 13 persons were killed and several others injured.

The judge, Babar Ali Khan, however, accepted their bail pleas in a case involving a roadside bombing which had resulted in martyrdom of four army officials and injuries to four others. In that case, the court directed the two petitioners to submit sureties of Rs80,000 each.

In the Kharqamar case, an FIR was registered at the Counter-Terrorism Department (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 the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The complainant alleged that Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar and seven other leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement possessed firearms; whereas around 300 to 350 of their supporters wielded sticks. It is alleged that the accused approached the check post and started raising slogans against Pakistan Army and other security agencies.

It is added that the provoked persons started hurling stones at the check post whereas Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar and others started firing which resulted in injuries to army personnel as well as general public, three of whom were killed.

In this case, Ali Wazir was arrested from the place of occurrence on May 26, whereas Mohsin Dawar surrendered to the administration on May 30 after a Jirga intervened and the government announced compensation for the families of 13 persons killed and several others injured in the incident.

A panel of lawyers, including Peshawar High Court Bar Association’s President Abdul Lateef Afridi, Pir Hameedullah Shah, Sangeen Khan Tariq Afghan and several others, appeared for the petitioners and contended that their clients were falsely implicated in the case.

They argued that both the petitioners were unarmed and there was no evidence against them of indulging in firing. The lawyers stated that there were several videos of the occurrence wherein it was visible that the petitioners and other protesters were unarmed.

They claimed that their clients were leading a peaceful procession and the security personnel had started unprovoked firing, which had resulted into deaths of innocent persons.

The state prosecutor argued that the petitioners were directly charged in the FIR and they had instigated the protesters to attack security personnel. He said that the accused were charged for non-bailable offences and they were not entitled to the concession of bail.

In the second case, the two petitioners were charged in the FIR registered on June 7 at CTD police station, Bannu, after an improvised explosive device went off at Doga Macha area in North Waziristan, when an army convoy was passing by. The blast had left a lieutenant colonel, a major, a captain and a lance hawaldar martyred.

North Waziristan district police officer Kifayatullah Khan, who is complainant in the case, says that the incident occurred when Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar had provoked people against Pakistan Army and instigated them to wage a war against the country and Army.

The lawyers appearing for the petitioners stated that their clients were falsely implicated as at the time of occurrence they were in custody.

Our Correspondent in Miramshah adds: North Waziristan deputy commissioner Abdul Nasir Khan on Saturday imposed a ban on the entry of non-local people into the district for one month under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

The DC states in his order that frequent and unregulated visits and entries of non-locals have been reported by the district police officer which may lead to serious law and order situation in the district.

Meanwhile, the police in South Waziristan tribal district on Saturday booked PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen and at least 200 others for reportedly raising slogans against state and its institutions at a public meeting organised by PTM in Azam Warsak a few days ago.

According to the first information report, the participants of the public meeting raised objectionable slogans against the state and national institutions.

Meanwhile, the South Waziristan district administration banned the entry of non-residents in the district for one month. However, non-local government officials posted in the district and labourers would be exempted from the ban.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019