- Police register case No. 696/14 under sections 419, 148, 234, 302 and 109 of CrPC pertaining to murder, attempt of murder and conspiracy of murder.
- Qadri rejects FIR, says it does not include sections pertaining to terrorism
- Four-member committee formed by Punjab govt starts work on recommendations in Model Town Judicial Commission report
Giving in to mounting political pressure and intervention of the country’s army chief, the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Thursday finally ordered the police to register a First Information Report [FIR] against 21 persons, including the prime minister and Punjab chief minister, for the police murders of 14 supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Minhajul Quran International (MQI) in Lahore’s Model Town area on June 17.
The Faisal Town Police registered a case No. 696/14 under sections 419, 148, 234, 302 and 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) pertaining to murder, attempt of murder and conspiracy of murder.
The clashes in June began when police started to remove barricades from outside Qadri’s residence and MQI Secretariat. The government said that the barricades were blocking traffic, but critics accused the government of pressuring PAT and MQI chief Dr Tahirul Qadri ahead of rallies against Prime Minister Sharif. Clashes broke out in which 14 Qadri supporters were killed and more than 100 people were wounded, including police.
Qadri has called for Sharif to step down and face trial over the killings, and he is currently leading parallel protests with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has also called on the government to resign over alleged rigging in last year’s general elections.
The prime minister enjoys immunity as long as he remains in office, and has refused to step down despite two weeks of protests that at their height saw tens of thousands of people break into the capital’s so-called Red Zone and camp outside parliament.
Soon after news broke of the registration of the FIR, Qadri rejected it claiming that it does not include sections pertaining to terrorism.
COMMITTEE TO PROBE JC REPORT:
Earlier on Thursday, a four-member committee formed by the Punjab government started work on the recommendations in the Model Town Judicial Commission report.
The committee has been mandated to fix responsibility in relation to the bloodshed that transpired in clashes between police personnel and Qadri’s supporters.
The committee is expected to complete its proceedings in a week’s time and submit a report to the provincial government. It comprises Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, the provincial interior and law secretaries and Punjab advocate general.
After the findings that have emerged in the reports of the judicial commission and the joint investigation team, the government committee’s fundamental task is to identify those ultimately responsible for the Model Town tragedy.
The government commission began its work days after the judicial commission investigating the Model Town incident held the Punjab government responsible for the tragedy, saying the police had acted on the administration’s orders which led to the bloodshed.
The report had said that the affidavits of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah contained contradictions regarding the orders they reportedly issued to the police to disengage, and said what happened on the ground did not match such claims.