• Video clips of incident sent to FIA for forensic examination
• Raoof was target of similar attack by ‘eunuchs’ a few days ago as well
• PTI alleges FIR tampered with, demands judicial inquiry into case

ISLAMABAD: A three-member special investigation team (SIT) was constituted under the senior superintendent of police (investigation) on Wednesday to look into the attack on PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan.

The team was notified by IGP Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi, according to the PRO of the police department.

However, PTI expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s move and demanded a judicial commission to bring the actual perpetrators of the act to justice.

Seven to eight video clips of the attack collected by the police from different sources, including a news TV channel, were sent to the Federal Investigation Agency for forensic examination. The PRO said police had also examined the footage and videos, but faces of the attackers were not clear.

He added that geo-fencing of the area is being conducted to mark the suspects and identify the attackers among them.

The Aabpara police registered a case under Sections 324, 109 and 34 of PPC against the unidentified attackers in response of a complaint lodged by Raoof Hasan.

According to the FIR, Mr Hasan appeared at GNN TV channel in G-7 at around 5:30pm on Tuesday and as he walked towards his vehicle after recording the programme a man, who appeared to be a eunuch, stopped him as planned and attacked him. In the meantime, three others, two of them seem to be transgender, also attacked Mr Hasan and made an attempt to kill him with a sharp-edged weapon by targeting his neck.

The PTI spokesperson sustained a severe cut on his face and started bleeding from the deep wound above the jugular vein, the FIR said.

The attackers kept threatening Mr Hasan to kill him, it said, adding that in the meantime passersby gathered there, and seeing them the attackers escaped. Mr Hasan said he has no personal enmity with anyone.

This was the second such incident over the past few days. According to FIR, two days ago, three to four transgender persons made an attempt to attack Mr Hasan outside the offices of a news channel in Blue Area. However, people present there saved him.

Legal action should be taken against the attackers and a case should also be registered over the incidents, besides providing protection to him, the FIR said.

‘Assassination attempt’

Addressing a presser, PTI Secretary General and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Omar Ayub rejected the FIR and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to bring the actual perpetrators to justice.

He called the incident a well-planned assassination attempt, claiming that attackers were not transgender but well-trained assassins.

Raoof Hasan, Azam Swati and former Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister Khalid Khurshid were present on the occasion.

The opposition leader alleged that police had tampered with the FIR as terror charge had been omitted from it, adding that Raoof Hasan’s statement mentioned the events but the police did not mention terrorism charge in the FIR.

“We categorically reject and condemn the forged FIR that was lodged by the Islamabad police. It is an attempt to sabotage the integrity of the case,” he added.

Who exerted pressure on the police to register that FIR, which did not even mention the word terrorism despite the fact that an assassination attempt was clearly an act of terrorism, he asked. Therefore, he added, they demand an immediate formation of a judicial commission to take to task the real culprits.

He made it clear that if the PTI leadership was targeted in such a manner again, the party would stage peaceful protests across the country and the direct impact of these protests would be targeted at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz.

Meanwhile, Omar Ayub rejected the Punjab defamation law, accusing the government of planning to stifle the sane voices.

Raoof Hasan said the attackers kept on saying, “We are after you”.

Azam Swati while condemning the assassination attempt recalled what had been done with Shahbaz Gill during custody, his (Swati’s) family and other PTI people.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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