Opposition leader remanded in police custody for election violence

Published February 18, 2021
Haleem Adil Sheikh gestures as he leaves the court complex in Malir and (right) Murad Ali Shah talks to the media outside the ECP’s provincial office.—PPI/Online
Haleem Adil Sheikh gestures as he leaves the court complex in Malir and (right) Murad Ali Shah talks to the media outside the ECP’s provincial office.—PPI/Online

KARACHI: The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts on Wednesday remanded Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh and four others in police custody in a case pertaining to attempted murder, firing, rioting and spreading terror during Tuesday’s by-election in Malir.

Mr Sheikh, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmaker, along with his four supporters — Ramzan, Mehmood, Ghulam Mustafa Hafeez and Abdul Haseeb — was booked and arrested on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Investigating Officer Inspector Nazar Mohammad Mangrio produced the suspects before the administrative judge for remand.

Special public prosecutor Shahid Mehmood Arain informed the judge that the PTI leader and his supporters were taken into custody in connection with an FIR registered against them at the Memon Goth police station.

Haleem Adil Sheikh gestures as he leaves the court complex in Malir and (right) Murad Ali Shah talks to the media outside the ECP’s provincial office.—PPI/Online
Haleem Adil Sheikh gestures as he leaves the court complex in Malir and (right) Murad Ali Shah talks to the media outside the ECP’s provincial office.—PPI/Online

He requested the judge to grant two-day physical remand of the PTI leader and other suspects in police custody for interrogation and investigation.

PPP’s Yousuf Murtaza Baloch wins Malir by-poll with huge margin; TLP comes second

Allowing the request, the judge remanded them in police custody for two days.

Two separate cases were lodged under relevant sections of the law at the Memon Goth and Gadap City police stations, respectively.

Post-arrest bail granted in old case

Judicial Magistrate (Malir) Nadeem Ali Buriro granted post-arrest bail to Mr Sheikh in a Feb 6 case pertaining to allegedly blocking the Superhighway and resorting to violence.

The judge directed him to furnish a surety bond in sum of Rs10,000 and cooperate with the police during investigation of the said case.

Police had booked Mr Siddiqui along with 200-250 unknown PTI workers for blocking the highway for vehicular traffic and resorting to violence and obstructing police from clearing the road as they tried to persuade them.

However, in another case pertaining to violence, attacking and hurling death threats to officials of the anti-encroachment department and police during an operation against illegal encroachments in Solangi Goth on Feb 6, the same court remanded Mr Sheikh in police custody for two days.

PPP wins by-poll

According to unofficial result of the by-election on PS-88, PPP’s Yousuf Murtaza Baloch won the election with a huge margin.

He secured 24,251 votes against Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan’s Syed Kashif Ali Shah who got 6,090 votes.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Jan Sher Junejo got 4,870 votes and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Sajid Ahmed bagged 2,635, respectively.

I never interfere in police matters: Murad Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday said the law took its due course as the code of conduct was violated in the Malir by-poll where voters and election staff were harassed and a “warlike situation” was created in PS-88.

Talking to the media at the Election Commission of Pakistan where he had gone for the scrutiny of nomination papers of PPP candidates for Senate election, he said that the ECP had issued a code of conduct for the by-elections held in Karachi and Sanghar but law was violated only in Karachi.

“I never interfere in police matters and whatever has taken place in PS-88 is the result of defying the code of conduct and creating an unfortunate scene,” he said.

About the PPP’s victory, he said: “This shows that the confidence of people of the area [has] further strengthened in PPP which serves them at grassroots level.”

Taking a dig at the PTI, he said: “You were not even at number two position then why did you create a warlike situation at the polling stations?”

He said he had no idea what was happening in the constituency on the day of polling since he was witnessing naval exercise Aman-2021 along with President Arif Alvi in the deep sea.

Mr Shah said that MPAs and MNAs were barred from visiting polling stations by the ECP.

He said that Jam Shabbir Ali of the PPP returned successful from PS-43, Sanghar, with a lead of 48,028 votes while PTI candidate bagged only 6,925 votes.

He said no such issue of display of weapons, harassment of voters and polling staff and intrusion of armed guards took place in Sanghar because everyone followed the ECP’s code of conduct.

‘PTI future in Sindh gloomy’

The chief minister thanked the people of PS-43 and PS-88 for reposing confidence on PPP candidates and assured them that his government would serve them to its best.

To a question, the chief minister said that the future of the PTI was not only gloomy in Sindh but all over the country.

Replying to another question about the presidential reference for open ballot in the Senate polls, Mr Shah said: “As a matter of fact the PTI was not in favour of open ballot. Had it been in favour of open ballot it would have taken the opposition into confidence much before the Senate election.”

He said: “Now they [PTI] have become insecure because their parliamentarians have revolted against the candidates the PTI has nominated for the Senate.”

This insecurity had forced the PTI to promulgate a conditional ordinance, he said, adding he was surprised that the PTI government wanted to amend the Constitution through an ordinance.

He said he had not approached any lawmaker belonging to opposition parties for the Senate vote. “It is totally up to them whom they elect.”

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2021

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