On Tuesday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore rejected the bail request of Dr. Yasmin Rashid, the Punjab president of PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), in a case related to the vandalization of Shadman police station during the riots that occurred on May 9. These riots followed the arrest of Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case and resulted in widespread violence, including attacks on significant military installations. As a consequence, the state launched a severe crackdown on his party.
While Imran Khan was released a few days later, with subsequent re-arrests in the Toshakhana and the cipher case, many PTI workers and top-tier leadership members were detained. Numerous individuals still face legal proceedings on serious charges.
In August, the police included additional charges in all May 9 cases, invoking 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 duty), and 146 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Additionally, other offenses under sections 120 (concealing the 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 a riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153-B (inducing students to take part in political activity), and 107 (abetment of a thing) of the PPC were also added to the first information reports (FIRs). These FIRs encompassed incidents related to the attacks on the Corps Commander House, Askari Tower, Shadman police station, and the burning of PML-N party offices in Model Town on May 9.
Joint investigation teams assigned to investigate the May 9 violence identified more than 900 activists, including the former premier and prominent PTI members like Yasmin Rashid, as primary suspects in multiple cases, submitting charge sheets to an ATC.
Last month, Rashid was taken into a five-day physical remand in a case involving inflammatory speeches she allegedly delivered on May 9 against state institutions at Lahore’s Sherpao Bridge, along with rioting following Imran’s arrest. On September 14, a Lahore ATC remanded her to jail for 14 days in the same case.
Earlier this month, a Lahore ATC deferred the hearing of petitions filed by Rashid and former provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, both seeking post-arrest bail in several cases related to the May 9 riots.
A day ago, officials from Kot Lakhpat jail presented Rashid and Senator Ijaz Chaudhry in the Askari Tower attack case before a Lahore ATC.
Today, the ATC, presided over by Judge Arshad Javed, deliberated on Rashid’s bail request concerning the Shadman police station vandalism case. During the hearing, the state prosecutor informed the court that Yasmin Rashid was on physical remand in the Shadman attack case and that new offenses had been included.
Following these proceedings, the ATC dismissed Rashid’s bail plea as it was deemed infructuous.