PESHAWAR: The Peshawar police have informed the deputy speaker of the provincial assembly about their plans to arrest MPA of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Haji Fazal Elahi for protesting outside the residence of Peshawar’s corps commander after the Nov 3 gun attack on former prime minister Imran Khan.
Mr Elahi and several other PTI leaders were booked for staging the protest against the ‘assassination attempt’ that wounded Mr Imran in the leg during a rally in Punjab province’s Wazirabad city.
The East Cantonment police station had registered an FIR under sections 341, 353 and 437 of the Pakistan Penal Code for “wrongful restraint, assault to deter public servant from discharge of his duty and committing mischief by causing damage to property.”
Though the FIR didn’t reveal who sought its registration against the MPA, a PTI source claimed that Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was not happy about the police’s intent to arrest the party’s lawmaker.
Police inform PA’s deputy speaker about plans to take Fazal Elahi into custody
In a letter, Deputy Speaker of the provincial assembly Mahmood Jan was informed by the Peshawar’s capital city police officer Mohammad Ijaz Khan that PK-79 MPA Fazal Elahi was wanted to the East Cantonment police station in connection with the FIR registered against him under the FIR registered for the protest.
“It is requested that the authorities concerned kindly be informed regarding the involvement aforesaid accused in the criminal case and for the arrest of the accused to proceed into the matter under intimation to this office,” it read.
Talking to Dawn, president of the PTI’s Peshawar city chapter Irfan Saleem claimed that the police had issued warrants for the arrest of MPA Elahi.
He said the police also wanted PTI Peshawar district president Mohammad Asim Khan and several workers over the Nov 3 protest.
“We [PTI] will approach the court for pre-arrest bail on Monday,” he said.
On the other hand, a police investigator said that the case was being “processed.”
Section 63 of Provincial Assembly of KP Procedure and Conduct of Business Rules 1988 provides for intimation to speaker by magistrate etc, of arrest, detention of a member.
“When a member is arrested on a criminal charge or for a criminal offence or is sentenced to imprisonment by a court or is detained under any executive order, the court or executive authority, as the case may be, shall immediately intimate such fact to the speaker indicating the reasons for the arrest, detention or imprisonment of the member in the appropriate form set out in the second schedule,”the section read.
On Nov 3 evening, around 300 PTI workers marched on the Grand Trunk Road from the Hashtnagri Chowk in the provincial capital to the Khyber Road before reaching outside the residence of the corps commander, where they staged a protest against the gun attack on Mr Imran and shouted slogans against the federal government.
The protesters also blocked the Khyber Road for around an hour. They later went to the nearby Chief Minister’s House and shouted slogans against the federal government before dispersing peacefully.
A mobile phone video of the protest, which went viral on social media, showed a PTI worker climb an armoured personnel carrier of the police.
The FIR said that the PTI workers attacked the APC with batons and damaged it.
In a social media video, MPA Elahi was seen hurl threats at interior minister Rana Sanaullah.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2022