Deletion of terror charges against nazims questioned
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday sought explanation from Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Shah Ji Rehman and Public Prosecutor (PP) Fahim, within ten days, of why terrorism charges had been dropped from the first information reports (FIRs) lodged against three union council nazims, a general councillor and three others. A PHC division bench, consisting of Chief Justice Tariq Pervaz Khan and Justice Qaim Jan Khan, was hearing the PESCO (Peshawar Electricity Supply Company) chief’s writ petition. Advocate Nazir Hussain, the PESCO counsel, contended that the police charged the nazims under section of the A.T.A after government property was damaged, but the ATC deleted the terrorism charges for unknown reasons.
He said the nazims and other protestors had committed an act of terrorism, and requested the court to restore the terrorism charges against them. The chief justice took exception to the deletion of 7-ATA from the FIRs, and noted that the ATC judge had removed terrorism charges in earlier cases. The ATC Peshawar judge had earlier removed terrorism charges against Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists who had damaged billboards in Peshawar carrying photos of women.
About four months ago, city police had charged owners of video centres and bookstalls under the 7-ATA for keeping CDs and literature containing hate material against the Shia community, but the matter was allegedly hushed up by the court after JI leaders pressured the NWFP government.
On September 25, 2006, WAPDA officials lodged an FIR against three union council nazims of Town-III, including Atifur Rehman of UC Tehkal Payan-1, Kifayatullah of UC Pawaka and Hassan Khan of UC Tehkal Payan-II, and four of their supporters including general councillor Momin Khan. They were charged under sections 506, 186, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 7-ATA for opening fire on transformers and destroying nine electricity polls during a protest on Warsak Road, resulting in power suspension and causing WAPDA a loss of Rs 5,000,000. The nazims staged the protest when WAPDA did not accept their demands to link the power supply lines of their UCs with 38 and 39 feeders of the Professors Colony. Another reason for the protest was the unscheduled power breakdowns in Town-III. Wapda officials denied the demands on the ground that Town-III dwellers overused electricity.
Source: Daily Times