SHANGLA: The Swat Anti-Terrorism Court on Saturday granted pre-arrest bail to 22 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Shangla chapter, activists implicated in the February 9 riots and violence case.

Two PTI workers were killed and several others injured when police allegedly resorted to firing to disperse the violent crowds after they set ablaze public properties and vehicles in Alpuri in protest against alleged rigging in Feb 8 elections.

The counsel for PTI activists said their plea for interim pre-arrest bail was accepted by ATC Swat till Feb 29. He said the ATC judge directed the Shangla police not to arrest the activists implicated in the Feb 9 case till the expiry of their bail.

Insaf Lawyers Forum, Malakand division, general secretary Jawad Ali Noor Advocate told Dawn that the police had implicated over 1,200 people in the Feb 9 violence case.

He said prominent among those having granted pre-arrest bail included PTI-backed NA candidate Haji Said Fareen, PK-30 candidate Sadar Rehman Advocate, former district council member Khan Nawab, Najeeb Shahzad, Mohammad Ishaq, Fazal Jehan and Wasim Afghan.

A PTI legal team comprising Mujarab Khan Advocate, Mir Alam Advocate, Waqar Khan Advocate and Jawad Ali Noor appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

Jawad Ali said the police had no legal right to book the party workers as they had opened ‘indiscriminate’ fire on the peaceful protesters.

He added 26 activists, who were arrested on the day of violence, had been released from jail on ATC orders last week.

LAID TO REST: A mineworker, who died in an incident in a Chakwal mine, was laid to rest in Dehrai Belkani area here on Saturday.

Spokesman for mineworkers’ rights association Abid Yar said the incident occurred due to a gas explosion, killing two people and injuring three others.

He said Barkat Ali was among the deceased.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2024

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