Pakistan: Over 300 including PTI supporters arrested over Saturday’s violence

More than 300 PTI workers including government officials were detained by Islamabad police for creating ruckus at Islamabad Judicial Complex, Pakistan based Dawn reported.

Among them there were several government officials detained in connection with two separate cases filed over Saturday’s violence in the city during former premier Imran Khan’s appearance at the Federal Judicial Complex in the Toshakhana case.

Police officials said that the government officials were from various federal and provincial agencies, including provincial police, adding that during interrogation, it was revealed that they attended the PTI rally with party leader Imran Khan.
They claimed that some of them were die hard supporters and activists of the PTI and its chief, and they were also facing charges of violence on the occasion. According to the police, they are also informing the departments of these arrested government officials with a request to take departmental and disciplinary action against them for their participation in violence and appearance in the mob gathering against the government, reported Dawn.
Furthermore, while examining the Safe City footage, more government officials were identified in the violence and rally, according to police, who added that these officials are being tracked down.
A number of overseas Pakistanis, dual nationals, and foreigners have also been arrested, according to the officers, who added that the embassies and high commissions of the countries where they are residing have been contacted in writing so that appropriate action can be taken regarding their involvement in the violence.
According to the officers, a large number of natives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir were also arrested, and the native town police of these arrested individuals are being contacted to check their criminal records.
Separate teams are working to apprehend more individuals who have been identified through Safe City footage but remain at large, they said, adding that the identification process through the footage is ongoing.
Police officers say, investigators in the two cases are also working on identifying and tracing those who supported the PTI on the occasion, including monetarily, by providing cars and other facilities and bearing other expenses.
Despite repeated efforts, officials from the police Public Relations Office, including PRO Taqi Jawad of the capital police, were unavailable for comment on the issue, Dawn reported.
Notably, in the violent confrontation a contingent of law enforcers and PTI supporters used anti-riot gear against each other, with teargas shells lobbed by both sides to push the opposing side back. PTI supporters allegedly pelted the police with stones while also lobbing petrol bombs, setting their vehicles on fire.
The Islamabad police filed an FIR, including terrorism charges, against Khan and dozens of PTI leaders, according to Dawn.
In a tweet, the police accused PTI supporters of “incitement, arson, vandalism and attacks on police”.
Police said, “As many as 58 police officers were injured during the violence and vandalism while 12 cars, 20 motorcycles and a police chowki were set on fire”.

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