PTI leaders Yasmin Rashid and Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, already detained in connection to multiple cases stemming from the May 9 violence, face fresh arrests related to an additional first information report (FIR) accusing them of attacking the Prime Minister’s House in Lahore.
The recent arrest unfolded following a court appearance today at an anti-terrorism court in Lahore, where Yasmin and Cheema were presented and subsequently remanded to jail for 14 days.
The May 9 incident, marked by the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, triggered widespread violence, including attacks on crucial military installations. This led the state to initiate a stringent crackdown on the party.
Although the ex-premier, then PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, was released shortly after the incident, subsequent arrests, including those of PTI workers and high-ranking leadership, have continued, with many still entangled in court proceedings facing serious charges.
Recent developments saw the Punjab police initiating a new crackdown on PTI workers and activists, resulting in several arrests across the country. A fresh list of 884 PTI workers circulated among police stations, primarily targeting members labeled as the ‘B team’ of PTI’s top leadership.
Today, the police submitted a supplementary statement in court, outlining additional charges against Yasmin and Cheema. The statement, obtained by Dawn.com, alleges their involvement in leading a group of PTI supporters who attacked the Prime Minister’s House in Lahore on May 9.
The supervising officer at the Prime Minister’s House claimed that the accused, including Yasmin and Cheema, instigated around 800-900 PTI supporters to attack the premises with clubs and stones, attempting to breach the gates in response to Imran Khan’s arrest.
A string of charges under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including those related to obstruction of public servants, criminal intimidation, rioting, mischief by fire, and terrorism charges, have been invoked against the PTI leaders.
Despite the police requesting a 30-day physical remand to gather further evidence, the court declined, stating the absence of evidence or weapons in possession of Yasmin and Cheema. Consequently, the court remanded the PTI leaders to judicial custody for 14 days, scheduling their next appearance on December 4.
Amidst legal proceedings, Yasmin Rashid expressed her intention to contest elections against PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, asserting her constitutional right while lamenting the delayed completion of challans against her over the past six months.