PESHAWAR: Amid the ongoing crackdown on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists over their alleged involvement in the May 9-10 violent protests in the province, the police have taken 863 more suspected rioters into custody.

The detainees included former Member of the National Assembly Shahid Khattak and central president of the Insaf Youth Wing Mena Khan Afridi.

The arrest of Mr Khattak and Mr Afridi came during a police raid in Buner district on Wednesday night, a close relative of the IYW chief told Dawn.

The local police confirmed the arrests and said that both detainees would be produced in the courts of law on Friday (today).

Documents show 2,881 suspects in custody of KP police

Official documents reveal that around 2,881 PTI activists have landed in police custody in the province over the violent protests staged after the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad on May 9 in a corruption case.

Police raids led to the arrests in different districts.

According to the documents, of the 2,881 detainees, 1,287 were arrested under different sections of the law, 484 under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance and 1,110 held under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

Of the detainees booked under the ATA, 272 were held in the provincial capital, 238 in Lower Dir, 154 in Mardan, 112 in Kohat, 104 in Swabi,

64 in Charsadda, 55 in Khyber tribal district, 46 in Bannu,

44 in Karak and 21 in Abbottabad.

On May 26, the provincial caretaker minister for information, Mian Feroze Jamal Kakakhel, announced that the government had identified 20 people, including a noted personality, for trial by military courts over May 9-10 riots.

He added that the law-enforcement agencies had taken 15 of those people into custody, while the search for the rest was under way.

The minister also revealed that the federal and provincial authorities had decided about the trial of all those, who attacked the installations of the armed forces, under the Army Act.

“We have sent the attack footage to the National Database and Registration Authority for the identification of culprits and are receiving information about them on a daily basis,” he said.

On May 12, the Khan Raziq Shaheed police station registered an FIR against 29 people, including former members of the national and provincial assemblies Kamran Bangash, Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Arbab Sher Ali, Arif Yusuf, Ishtiaq Urmar, Arbab Jahandad, Fazal Ilahi and Malik Wajid, andInsaf Youth Wing central president Mena Khan Afridi.

They were charged under sections 302 and 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Also, the Chamkani police station booked former members of the national and provincial assemblies, including Ishtiaq Urmar, Arbab Jahandad, Fazal Ilahi, Asif and Malik Wajid, and 19 other

local PTI leaders for “blocking roads and damaging public property.”

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2023

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