KARACHI: A sessions court on Monday granted pre-arrest bail to 10 leaders of labour unions of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in a case pertaining to allegedly staging a violent protest against the proposed privatisation of the national carrier.

The PIA management had lodged an FIR against labour union president Hidayatullah Khan, Aqeel Siddiqi, Safdar Anjum, Rafiq, Mohammed Iqbal, Israr Mashwani, Shahnawaz Khatian, Ajmal Malik, Amjad and Shoaib and around 200-250 other employees for allegedly storming the head office of the PIA and threatening the executives of dire consequences.

When the matter came up for hearing, the additional district and sessions judge (Malir) granted the applicants pre-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs10,000 each.

The judge also asked the applicants to cooperate with the police in the investigation of the case.

Deputy General Manager-Security Arshad Butt lodged the FIR stating that a mob of serving and retired employees stormed the PIA head office, resorted to rioting and hurled threats to the high-ups over privatisation of the national flag carrier on Aug 25.

He further alleged that the protesters broke doors, manhandled guards, used swear words and threatened the officials and senior management present there, adding that the mob also locked the offices of departments` chiefs, general managers and other officials of the head office, asking them to stop working and staged a sit-in there and delivered provocative speeches.

The case was registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 506 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Airport police station.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2023

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