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ISLAMABAD: The capital police, on Thursday, arrested the wife of the driver of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s leader and party chairman Imran Khan’s chief of staff, Dr Shahbaz Gill, and another individual on charges of rioting, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, and theft.

Gill was arrested by the capital police on August 9 from Bani Gala Chowk. The arrest came in the wake of the Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issuing a show-cause notice to a private TV channel for airing controversial remarks by Gill, which the authority described as “highly hateful and seditious” and tantamount to inciting the “armed forces towards revolt”.

The capital police registered the first information report (FIR) against Gill’s driver Azhar Ullah, his wife Mehreen Bibi, Hizbullah, Azhar Ullah, Sardar Imran, and Zafer Iqbal.

According to the FIR, Gill who has been remanded in police custody by a local court during interrogation told police that he had given his mobile phone, to his driver/ assistant, Izhar, at the time of his arrest. It says that he told police that Izhar still had his mobile and was living at his in-laws’ residence.

The high-ups of police, following this revelation, constituted a special team and it went to the house where Izhar was staying at 1:40am on Thursday. The FIR says that when the door was knocked, a man and a woman came outside.

The man identified himself as IzharUllah while the woman identified herself as his wife, Mehreen, it says, adding that as soon as they came out and seeing the police party, both started crying for help and also called five to six more people from inside the house.

The police FIR further says that all of them attacked the police party, put up resistance, began creating a hue and cry, and threatened the police party. As a result, more people gathered at the scene, the FIR said.

The FIR alleged that some of the people tore the shirt of a constable, Sajjad Shahid. They also tore buttons off his shirt and snatched his mobile phone and wallet, which contained his ATM card, service card, and Rs15,000 cash.

It added that Mehreen and another suspect, Noman, were arrested from the scene while the rest managed to flee because of the dark.

The FIR was registered at the complaint of Sub-Inspector (SI) and Investigation Officer (IO) of the case Tallat Mahmood, under Sections 149 (every member of an unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 147 (punishment for rioting), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft), 186 (obstructing public servant in the discharge of public functions), and (use of assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Azhar in a video clip circulated on social media said that a large number of police personnel raided his house and harassed his wife and family members and also snatched his mobile phones. He further said that police have arrested his wife without any arrest warrant. Police are urging him to bring Gill’s phone and other belongings but he does not have anything, he claimed.

Later, the police produced Izhar’s wife and brother-in-law Noman before the Judicial Magistrate, Salman Badar, for obtaining physical remand. The court granted two-day physical remand of Noman and send Gill’s driver’s wife to jail on judicial remand for two days.

Following the court announcing its judgment, Faisal Chaudhry, counsel for the wife, filed a post-arrest bail petition, on which the court later issued notices and ordered Izhar wife to be kept in jail tonight. The court summoned police and prosecutor to appear before it today (Friday).

During the hearing, the defence counsel said that the incident took place at 9pm last night and claimed there was video evidence proving that the police entered Gill’s driver’s house without a warrant. The counsel claimed that the police team had vandalised the home of the accused and also beaten them.

During the proceedings, a 10-month-old daughter of the accused began crying and police prevented the baby from meeting with her mother. But later, the court ordered police to bring the baby girl to the courtroom. When the judge asked Izhar’s wife if she wanted to say something, she said that the police team broke the door and entered the house; we only came to know about the raid when the police had reached our bedroom. “More than 20 police officers entered the bedroom and tortured us,” added Nauman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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