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Yasmin Rashid, other PTI leaders indicted in May 9 riots case | The Express Tribune


The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Tuesday indicted prominent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, including former provincial minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Senator Ijaz Chaudhry, and former MPA Rubina Jamil, in connection with the May 9 riots that erupted following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan in a graft case from the premises of the Islamabad High Court.

The PTI leaders stand accused of inciting the public to set ablaze police vans in front of Rahat Bakery in Lahore.

In today’s hearing, the court granted the prosecution permission to frame charges against the accused. However, the accused did not plead guilty and have opted to contest the charges.

The ATC judge has set December 16 for further proceedings in the case.

Read More: May 9 riots were Pakistan’s ‘9/11 attack’ on its national interests: Iqbal

The First Information Reports (FIRs) filed against PTI leaders, workers and social media activists implicate them in a series of violent incidents, including attacks on the Corps Commander House (Jinnah House), Askari Tower, the Shadman police station, as well as creating law and order issues, promoting anarchy, setting ablaze police vans, arson, damaging public properties, injuring police officials, and torching PML-N offices in Model Town.

Initially, the Punjab police registered FIRs across Punjab under specific sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). However, additional sections were later added to the FIRs, including charges such as waging or attempting to wage war against Pakistan, abetting mutiny, criminal conspiracy, and rioting.

Read More: ‘May 9 rioters must pay for damages’

The FIRs now include sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting in waging war against Pakistan), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), and 146 (rioting) of the PPC. Further sections incorporated later include 120 (concealing design to commit an offense punishable with imprisonment), 120-A (definition of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121-A (conspiracy to commit offenses punishable by Section 121), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 153-B (inducing students, etc, to take part in political activity), and 107 (abetment of a thing) of the PPC.

The joint investigation teams, formed to probe these incidents, have identified hundreds of PTI activists, including the former premier and other party leaders, as prime suspects and the alleged masterminds behind the May 9 incidents in a dozen FIRs registered against them.

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