PESHAWAR: Around 85 people arrested in connection with May 9 and 10 violent protests here were granted bail by different courts on Friday.
An anti-terrorism court ordered the release of 44 suspects arrested on the charge of attacking the Faqirabad police station by firing gunshots and pelting stones at it.
Judge Dr Amir Nazir directed the petitioners to furnish two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.
Several lawyers appeared for the petitioners and contended that they had falsely been implicated in the instant case.
They argued that the prosecution failed to produce any evidence against them.
The counsel said that no identification parade of the suspects had been conducted to prove that they attacked the police station.
A day earlier, another ATC granted bail to around 80 people arrested for allegedly ransacking the Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building and the regional office of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, additional district and sessions judge Attaullah Jan accepted bail petitions of around 40 suspects arrested in two cases of attacking a cinema and other public and private properties in the jurisdiction of the Faqirabad police station.
The police had alleged that the petitioners had tried to ransack the Shama Cinema and some other properties.
However, the petitioners denied the charges insisting that no “evidence” is available to connect them with the commission of the offence.
Meanwhile, former MPA and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Arbab Jehandad Khan filed a bail petition with an anti-terrorism court.
Mr Jehandad is kept in the Peshawar Central Prison following his arrest in Murree a few days ago.
He is accused of being part of a violent protest on May 9, which was staged after the arrest of former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan. The protesters ransacked the toll plaza of the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway here.
Mr Jehandad contended that he had no connection with the instant offence and was falsely booked in it due to political victimisation.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court in Malakand district on Friday sent a former provincial minister and 13 other accused arrested in connection with the May 9 riots to jail after completion of their physical remand.
The court sought production of the records related to the case on May 29. The former provincial minister Shakeel Khan, PTI district general secretary Maqbool Khan, tehsil Baizai president Jamal Khan, tehsil Batkhela president Ijaz Khan and others were arrested on charges of arson and looting of Swat Motorway toll plaza.In another related development in Abbottabad, PTI district president and former provincial minister Qalandar Khan Lodhi and PTI leader Taimur Khalid were arrested again after being released and were sent to jail on 14 days judicial remand.
The two PTI leaders were detained under 3 MPO for making hate speeches against state institutions and taking the law into their hands by blocking the Fawara Chowk on May 9 and 10.
Soon after being released from Haripur prison, the Abbottabad police again arrested Qalandar Lodhi and Taimur Khalid. They were produced in the Anti-Terrorism Court on Friday and the court sent them to jail on judicial remand.
Published in Dawn, May 27TH, 2023