DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A local court on Friday absolved PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur of charges in two criminal cases registered by Dera Ismail Khan police, but sent him to prison on six-day judicial remand in separate cases filed in Islamabad and Punjab.

Mr Gandapur, a former federal minister and PTI’s central leader, was arrested on Thursday night outside the building of the Peshawar High Court’s Dera Ismail Khan bench after an hours-long drama.

On Friday, he was produced before a judicial magistrate, Mazhar Ali. His lawyers requested the court to drop the charges, insisting that they were concocted and registered without evidence. They argued that there was no possibility to frame char­ges against Mr Gandapur based on the prosecution’s version.

The magistrate accepted the PTI leader’s plea and rejected the charges. However, Mr Ganda­pur was not set free as two other cases have been registered agai­nst him in Islamabad and Punjab.

Court absolves PTI leader of charges in two criminal cases filed in D.I. Khan

The magistrate also rejected requests by Islamabad and Pun­jab police seeking Mr Gandapur’s transit custody. He directed the representatives of both Islam­abad and Punjab police to fulfil the required documentation for further legal proceedings.

In the two FIRs registered against Mr Gandapur in D.I. Khan, the Cantonment Police Station charged him with multiple offences.

In one case, he was charged with blocking roads and raising slogans against the government during school and office hours, causing hindrance to students. It was alleged that he had gathered people in violation of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Proce­dure invoked by the administration.

The FIR was registered under Section 147 (punishment for rioting), Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and Section 188 (disobedience of the order of a public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The second FIR was registered last year after Mr Gandapur released an audio message apprehending arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan. He was charged with using derogatory language against the government and national institutions.

On Friday, strict security measures were made at the court premises where Mr Gandapur’s brothers, former provincial minister Faisal Amin Gandapur and tehsil mayor Umar Amin Gandapur, were present along with several PTI workers.

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, a case against Ali Amin Gandapur was registered at Golra Police Station on charges of hatching a conspiracy against the state and acts of terrorism.

The FIR said the suspect directed his supporters to get prepared for an armed war against national institutions.

Meanwhile, D.I. Khan Deputy Commissioner Mansoor Arshad on Thursday imposed Section 144 in the district with immediate effect to ensure a peaceful environment.

According to a notification issued by the DC office, a ban has been imposed on unlawful assembly of five or more people in public places, pillion riding and the use of tinted glasses in vehicles for 11 days. The order will remain effective from April 6 to 16.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2023

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