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Police treating Punjab Assembly staff like terrorists: Secretary

Elahi says Shehbaz, Hamza violated sanctity of the House; those guilty will be punished

Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti appeared before Qila Gujar Singh Police on Tuesday against the rumpus during the Punjab Assembly session and stated that the police is treating Punjab Assembly staff like terrorists.

As per reports, Bhatti recorded his statement to SSP Investigation Imran Kishwar. SP Civil Lines was also present there during the recording of the statement.

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Talking to the media, Bhatti said, “All of you are witnesses that I came to surrender myself before Qila Gujar Singh Police on the orders of the court.” Bhatti said the police kept him waiting for 20 minutes before the gate was opened, and alleged that it was acting on a planned conspiracy against him.

“I know what they are planning. I’m fully aware,” said Bhatti, who is on bail till May 25. Talking about the issue, he said that the Lahore High Court had on April 16 ordered the Inspector General of Police to ensure law and order outside the assembly during the election for the chief minister in the Punjab Assembly.

“When I reached the office from my home I saw 200 to 250 people outside Punjab Assembly. I just asked the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker to close the gallery, so we could control the crowd but unfortunately, the people jumped in through the gates and entered into Punjab Assembly,” he recalled while talking to the reporters at the police station.

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Bhatti said whatever allegations were made in the First Investigation Report (FIR) against him are totally fake and baseless and confirmed that the police took ten officials to the assembly last night. “The deputy secretary was arrested from Sargodha despite the fact that he is on interim bail,” he claimed, lashing out at the police, stating that it was treating the Punjab Assembly officials as if they are terrorists.

According to the sources, the police conducted raids during the last two days at different places to arrest the Assembly officials. They said that police constable were deployed outside the residence of Muhammad Khan Bhatti in GOR but he was not there. They arrested other officials from different areas. On Monday, Major (r) Faisal Hussain, Director of Security and Intelligence, and other senior officers of the Punjab Assembly and security personnel were arrested by Punjab Police.

Police also arrested Shahbaz Hussain, a research officer; Ali Zeeshan, junior security assistant, Ghulam Murtaza, assistant security officer, Constable Sohail Shehzad, Constable Liaqat Ali, Constable Muhammad Tayyab and Constable Muhammad Osama.

The spokesman of the Punjab Assembly had strongly condemned the incident, saying that Major Faisal Hussain was already out on bail. In addition, Shahbaz Hussain, a 17-grade research officer in the Assembly Secretariat, was falsely charged with robbery while another staff was falsely charged with theft and other offences and was being subjected to unwarranted torture. The spokesperson said using such tactics could not serve and improve the province.

Meanwhile, reacting to these developments, Speaker of Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has said that Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz have violated the sanctity of the Assembly where the work of exaltation of religion took place and where Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nubawwat (PBUH) was guarded. Addressing a meeting of Punjab Assembly officers, he claimed that at the behest of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz, for the first time in history, the sanctity of the constitution and law of the assembly was violated, which has severely affected the supremacy of parliament.

“Innocent assembly employees are being subjected to unwarranted retaliation. They are being harassed on false charges of theft and robbery,” Elahi bemoaned. He said that “we will punish those who violated the sanctity of the assembly”.

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