A Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday dismissed PTI Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid’s bail plea in a case pertaining to vandalism at the Shadman police station during the May 9 riots.
Imran’s arrest on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case had resulted in widespread violence and saw important military installations come under attack, on the basis of which the state had launched a severe crackdown against his party.
While Imran Khan was released a few days later (he has since been rearrested in the Toshakhana and then the cipher case), scores of PTI workers and almost the entire top-tier leadership were rounded up, with many still facing court proceedings under serious charges.
In August, the police had added new offences in all May 9 cases under sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting in waging of war against Pakistan), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) and 146 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Other offences under sections 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 120-A (definition of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121-A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121, i.e waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 153-B (inducing students, etc, take part in political activity) and 107 (abetment of a thing) of the PPC had also been added in the first information reports (FIRs).
The said FIRs had included those pertaining to attacks on the Corps Commander House, Askari Tower, the Shadman police station, and the torching of PML-N party offices in Model Town on May 9.
Joint investigation teams constituted to investigate the May 9 violence had declared more than 900 activists — including the former premier and other party bigwigs such as Rashid — as prime suspects in a dozen cases and had submitted challans (charge sheets) to this effect in an ATC.
Last month, the police were granted a five-day physical remand of Rashid in a case pertaining to incendiary speeches she allegedly delivered on May 9 against state institutions at Lahore’s Sherpao Bridge and rioting in the wake of Imran’s arrest.
On September 14, a Lahore ATC had sent Rashid to jail on a 14-day judicial remand in the same case.
Earlier this month, a Lahore ATC had adjourned the hearing of the petitions filed by Rashid and former provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed seeking post-arrest bail in multiple cases of May 9 riots.
A day ago, Kot Lakhpat jail officials produced Rashid and Senator Ijaz Chaudhry in the Askari Tower attack case before a Lahore ATC.
Today, ATC Judge Arshad Javed presided over the hearing of Rashid’s bail plea in a case pertaining to vandalism at the Shadman police station.
During the hearing, the state prosecutor informed the court that the PTI leader was on physical remand in the Shadman attack case and that new offences had been added.
“Yasmin Rashid’s bail plea is not maintainable anymore,” he stated.
Subsequently, the ATC dismissed Rashid’s bail plea on the basis of it being infructuous.