Lahore court issues arrest warrants for 12 PML-N leaders in Punjab CM poll violence case

A Lahore court on Friday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for 12 PML-N leaders at the request of the city police in the Punjab Assembly attack case involving hooliganism during the chief minister’s election on April 16.

Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Mudasir Hayat issued the warrants as the police, earlier in the day, submitted an application before the court, seeking action against the politicians for allegedly attacking lawmakers in an assembly session two months ago.

The move comes weeks after PTI ally PML-Q’s Parvez Elahi took charge as chief minister.

The first information report of the incident was registered the same day at Qila Gujjar Singh Police Station under sections 324 (murder attempt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public service) and 427 (causing damage).

In its application to the court, police said they were making all-out efforts to apprehend the PML-N leaders, “but they are deliberately not showing up before the law enforcement personnel”.

The police sought the arrest warrants of prime minister’s special assistant Attaullah Tarar, Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Bilal Farooq Tarar, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Laghari, Saiful Malook Khokhar, Mirza Jawed, Pir Khizer Hayat, Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Abdul Rauf, Pir Ashraf Rasool, Bilal Farooq and Rana Mannan Khan.

“The investigation has to be conducted and processed after arresting the leaders,” the police said in a letter to the magistrate.

The Lahore police today visited the house of Rana Mashhood, and broadcasters aired CCTV footage of policemen outside his gate.

In remarks made to Geo News, Rana Mashood said police raided his house today, adding “the cops returned as I was not present at home.”

He said the provincial government was resorting to “revenge tactics”. He further said his party had reports that more raids would take place “but we won’t succumb to such pressure tactics and face all cases”.

Meanwhile, Atta Tarar called out the inclusion of his brother’s name in the arrest warrant and termed it a “political revenge”.

In a tweet, he said he would not “bow down” and face the situation with courage.

PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz also condemned the provincial government’s action, saying such measures were “reprehensible and reflect dictatorial thinking”.

“The morale of the PML-N will not be shaken by the fascist government’s brutal tactics. Such vindictive thinking cannot shake our democratic spirit,” he said in a tweet.

Last week the police moved against Atta Tarar, a ‘blue-eyed’ associate of former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz in the same case.

A police team raided both PML-N leaders’ residences in the city, but returned empty handed as the suspects were in the capital.

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