PTI social media activist in Peshawar gets pre-arrest bail, another sent to jail on remand
PESHAWAR: A Peshawar additional district and session judge has accepted the application of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf social media activist Ikram Khatana for pre-arrest bail.
Mr Khatana was named in an FIR registered by the police against him on the charges of insulting state institutions, armed forces and their senior officers.
The complaint against him was lodged by Hasnain Raza, a resident of the provincial capital. Mr Khatana, however, moved the court for his pre-arrest bail claiming that the charges against him were baseless.
His application was accepted by additional district and sessions judge Bakht Alam, who asked the police to produce case records and adjourned the hearing until April 4.
Meanwhile, judicial magistrate of Peshawar Mohammad Shoaib sent PTI social media activist Azhar Ali to the prison on a 14-day judicial remand.
Party leader flays ‘crackdown’, says people should know about their ‘crime’ before arrest
The Khazana police said Azhar Ali was arrested after the registration of an FIR against him over his “negative” social media campaign against the state’s institutions.
The police produced him in the court, which sent him to the prison on 14-day judicial remand.
Meanwhile, the PTI flayed the raids of law-enforcement agencies on the houses of its social media activists.
“The activists of our social media team have been terrorised and harassed through raids on their houses,” spokesman for the PTI in the province Shaukat Yousafzai told Dawn.
He said that the law-enforcement agencies arrested social media activist of the PTI Azhar Ali, resident of Khazana area, who was also a member of the respective local council.
Mr Yousafzai said that police also raided the house of Ikram Khatana, provincial lead of the PTI’s social media team, but failed to arrest him as he wasn’t home.
He said those raids were meant to harass PTI workers but their struggle for the “restoration of the Constitution, law and democracy” in the country would continue.
“We [PTI] should be properly informed if our social media activists shared anything online against the country and its institutions,” he said.
The PTI leader said that it was the people’s right to know about their crime ahead of their arrest or raid on their houses.
He also came down hard on the caretaker government for “crossing its limits” while managing its affairs and said caretakers were responsible for holding free and fair elections and not misusing their authority.
Mr Yousafzai said that the harassment of PTI workers was a violation of human rights besides being an undemocratic step, which would harm politics in the country.
“Ours is not a banana republic. You [police] have to arrest people only after proving the crimes or illegal acts committed by them,” he said.
The PTI leader said that “such cruelty and brutality” was not seen even during the martial law period.
He said that the rulers were imposing restrictions on the expression of opinion.
“Journalists and political activists are being arrested. The Constitution and law are being flouted,” he said.
Mr Yousafzai said that Pakistan was a democratic country and the PTI was its biggest and most popular political party.
He said that the PTI workers were peacefully fighting for their political rights and freedom of expression.
The PTI leader criticised the caretaker government over the mechanism for free flour distribution in the province and said that the residents were being humiliated by the rulers to claim political gains.
“The government should take practical steps to reduce inflation. Many people have lost life trying to receive free flour,” he said.