Long March Vandalism: PTI Leadership Granted Interim Bail By Anti-Terrorism Court

Long March Vandalism: PTI Leadership Granted Interim Bail By Anti-Terrorism Court
A day after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership over the vandalism during the party's long march last month, the leaders have been granted interim bail.

An ATC court in Lahore had, on the request of investigating officer Muhammad Saleem, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for several senior members of the PTI, including Mian Akram Usman, Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi, Imtiaz Mehmood Sheikh, Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Mian Shafqat Mehmood, Malik Nadeem Abbas, Murad Raas, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Yasir Gilani, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Hammad Azhar, Andleeb Abbas, and Ijaz Chaudhry, as reported by Dawn.

Investigating Officer Muhammad Saleem had requested the initial non-bail arrest orders to be issued because he said the leaders had 'intentionally' gone into hiding to avoid their arrest. Arresting them was necessary for the investigation he said, following which Judge Abher Gul Khan issued the warrants.

All the notified PTI leaders showed up to the court on Friday, and applied for interim bails, which were granted. The judge prevented the police from arresting them till June 17th.

Last month, the Punjab police had registered a total of 42 criminal cases against PTI’s senior leaders and workers for alleged agitation in the aftermath of the long march.

The cases registered against the leaders mentioned that as a result of the vandalism and rioting, 3 police men lost their lives, while a 100 more were injured.

After they had secured the interim bail, they held a press talk outside the courtroom, where PTI leader Hammad Azhar accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for orchestrating their arrests, saying they had turned the country into a 'fascist police state'.