LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday acquitted 12 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in 2014 Model Town incident case.

Faisal Town police had registered a case against the PAT workers on charges of attacking police personnel and other government officials.

The PAT’s counsel Naeemuddin Chaudhry argued before the court that the petitioners were not nominated in the FIR and the police had arrested them two months after the Model Town incident when they came to attend the chehlum of the workers who lost their lives in the police firing. He said the prosecution had failed to produce any evidence during the trial proceedings to prove its charges against the petitioners. He said the police registered a fabricated FIR against his clients at the behest of the then government. He asked the court to acquit the petitioners of the charges.

After hearing the arguments of the counsel, the court allowed the applications of the petitioners and acquitted them of the charges for lack of evidence.

The petitioners include Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Saleem, Mushtaq Ahmad, Muhammad Ramzan, Aurangzeb, Ghulam Mustafa, Zafar Iqbal, Muhammad Mukhtar, Mian Manzoor Ahmad, Murtaza Shah, Mudassar Mushtaq and Waqar Saleem. They all were on bail.

Ten people were killed and around 100 were injured during an ‘anti-encroachment’ operation outside the Model Town residence of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on June 17, 2014.

The trial of the incident is pending before the court on a private complaint filed by Jawad Hamid of the PAT.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2022

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