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Imran among top PTI leaders booked for Islamabad riots

The Islamabad Police on Thursday registered a case against senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders — including Chairman Imran Khan — for the riots that took place in Islamabad during the “Azadi March” a day prior.

Apart from the former premier, police also registered cases against PTI leaders Asad Umar, Imran Ismail, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Ali Nawaz Awan. The police registered two separate cases at the Kohsar Police Station for “rioting and arson”.

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The first FIR was registered at the complaint of a sub-inspector (SI) named Asif Raza, while the second one was filed on behalf of SI Ghulam Sarwar.

The cases have been registered against 150 people out of whom 39 have been arrested. They also mention the burning of the metro bus stations at Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue, damaging a government vehicle at the Express Chowk, and breaking the glass windows of Geo News and Jang office.

On Wednesday, the law and order situation in the federal capital turned chaotic after Khan and his convoy entered the city and started marching towards the D-Chowk despite the Supreme Court’s order to hold a jalsa at a ground between H9 and G9 areas of Islamabad.

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But as PTI protesters continued to engage in violent clashes with the police and other law enforcement agencies and continued moving towards the D-Chowk defying the court’s prohibition, the government decided to summon the army to control the situation and protect the government’s offices located in the Red Zone.

The army was called in to control the situation under article 245 of the constitution.

Riots were not only confined to Islamabad but anarchy spread in other cities of the country, including Karachi and Quetta, where protesters staged sit-ins. In Karachi, angry demonstrators set a police van ablaze at Numaish Chowrangi.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said in a statement that the federal government had decided to take legal action against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

“The KP chief minister Khan used his position unconstitutionally by attacking the federation.

“[The] participation of the CM along with armed police officers in PTI’s ‘Fitna March’ was tantamount to attacking the federation,” he said.

The minister said the government has sought the opinion of the Law Ministry for action against the CM.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by the federal government seeking contempt of court proceedings against former Imran Khan for allegedly violating the apex court’s May 25 order.

The court also disposed of a petition filed by Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Muhammad Shoaib Shaheen that sought the removal of blockades set up to stop the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI’s) Azadi March.

A five-member larger bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the contempt of court petition.

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