LAHORE: In a major development, a team of the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) got a case registered against two brother lawyers and four others under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and other charges for attacking and ransacking the office of the company’s Kamalia City Sub-Division, threatening and harassing staff after a team raided a spot, detected electricity pilferage and disconnected power supply.
“They (accused) also slapped the Lesco officials, including the SDO, after entering the office. Carrying guns, they also ransacked the office, besides hurling threats to the staff,” said Fesco CEO Bashir Ahmad while talking to Dawn on Friday. “The case has been registered against the accused,” he said.
The accused, however, rejected the Fesco officials’ stance. “I challenge Fesco officers, police and others concerned to hold an impartial inquiry.
And if it (the inquiry) finds us guilty, the government can impose a fine of Rs500,000 on us and may try us under the 7 ATA,“ advocate Khalid Imran Bhagila told Dawn.
According to the FIR registered by Saddar Police Station (Kamalia) under section 7 ATA, 353, 186, 440, 506, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), SDO Zulifqar Kathia and other officers were busy in a meeting on Thursday evening when the armed accused namely Khalid Imran, Abid Imran, Mudassir Alam and three unknown entered the office and started ransacking the office doors, windows and other furniture with their guns.
They, while doing so, also kept using abusive language, tore up official files, besides attacking sensitive portions of the office and threatening and harassing officers as well as their staff. They later fled, hurling life threats.
The FIR states that the Fesco team had detected power theft at the premises of accused Mudassair Alam Bhagila and his uncle Mazhar Iqbal a day before. The team also removed meters from their premises due to which the accused attacked the Fesco office.
Meanwhile, a Faisalabad ATC granted on Friday bail before arrest till Oct 4 to the two lawyers and their accomplice Mudassar in a case of 7-ATA registered by Kamalia City police.
The Kamalia Bar Association observed a strike on Friday. They also warned the Fesco officials to withdraw the FIR, failing which no one from Fesco area offices would be allowed to enter the bar premises.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) claimed that the lawyers in various cases also threatened Lesco teams, beside thrashing them.
“Though we have so far not seen any case where we got FIRs lodged against lawyers or anyone under 7-ATA, the lawyers in various cases are doing wrong with us,” he added.
Sharing detail, he said in Okara, some lawyers got a power thief released from the police lockup forcibly. “Our XEN (Shalimar Division, Lahore) was also thrashed by some lawyers recently. In Nankana Sahib, some lawyers offered resistance,” he explained, adding that last night, some lawyers offered resistance when a team captured a Samanabad car dealer association office-bearers on account of power theft.
Tariq Saeed in Toba Tek Singh also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2023