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PM Nawaz, Shahbaz, three ministers and top cops booked for murder

18 September, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: A murder case was registered against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, three federal ministers and top police and administration officials over the killing of two people in last month's clashes between police and protesters marching towards PM's official residence in a bid to remove the government, local police officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The case has been registered in Islamabad's Secretariat Police Station under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and Pakistan Penal Code (PPCs) 302, 324, 148 and 149 which deal with charges of murder, attempted murder, attack and abetment for attack. On Monday, Islamabad's district and sessions court had ordered the Secretariat police to register the case while hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over the alleged killing of its workers.

The deaths had occurred between the night of August 30-31 when police started a crackdown with tear gas shelling and firing of rubber bullets on protesters of Tahirul Qadri-led PAT and Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to stop them from marching on PM's House in Islamabad's heavily fortified Red Zone. Apart from two victims who had died from rubber bullet injuries, another PAT worker had passed away that night due to cardiac arrest while above 500 were injured.

According to the First Information Report (FIR), the orders of crackdown were given by the prime minister and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The other high-profile government functionaries who were booked in the FIR include Punjab's CM Shahbaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, ex-IG Islamabad Khalid Khattak, IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera, IG Railways and other top officials of Islamabad police and administration.

Addressing his supporters on Wednesday, PAT chief Tahirul Qadri said that after the registration of FIR Nawaz Sharif has no right to stay in power. "How can Sharif remain in power when two cases have been registered him?" he asked his supporters and demanded that the PM and all others booked for murder should be arrested immediately.

He expressed reservations over the investigation of the case by Islamabad and Punjab police and asked for constitution of a joint investigation team comprising of members of intelligence agencies and police officials from regions other than Punjab and Islamabad to probe the issue.

Prime minister, Punjab's CM and other high-ranking figures were also named in a murder case related to the deaths of 14 supporters of Qadri when police launched an operation against them in Lahore's Model Town on June 17. Also on Wednesday, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi directed the Islamabad police to nullify cases against 600 PTI and PAT workers who were arrested for violation of Section 144, which was imposed last Saturday in the capital city.

Islamabad district and sessions judge had on Monday accepted Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)'s petition and ordered police to register an FIR against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet ministers on the charges of killing of PAT workers on August 31, when clashes broke out down between protesters and police in Islamabad's Red Zone.

District & Sessions Judge Raja Jawad Abbasi ordered the capital police to register the FIR against PM Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and Islamabad Inspector General of Police Khalid Khattak.

During case proceedings, Secretariat Police submitted a report before court, stating that PAT protesters planned to occupy sensitive buildings in the Red Zone, adding that SSP Operations Asmatullah Junejo was badly injured in protesters attack. Defence lawyer Chaudhry Abdul Aziz stated that the administration did not issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for entrance in the Red Zone.

Earlier, PTI chief Imran Khan had been booked for forcing police to release his party workers who were arrested for violating Section 144, officials said on Monday.

End.

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