Islamabad police arrest 25 for vandalism at judicial complex

ISLAMABAD: The capital's police have arrested at least 25 people and registered a terrorism case after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s appearance at the city's judicial complex led to vandalism and riot.

Khan had appeared before multiple courts in connection with different cases. He received bail from two courts and another issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him. The PTI chief also managed to secure interim bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in another case.

Security arrangements at Sector G-11 of the judicial complex were disrupted as PTI workers removed all barriers during their chief's appearances in the different courts. On the occasion, some of the workers vandalised the building and undermined the decorum of the courts.

According to a spokesperson for the capital's police, the case has been registered under Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act (ATA) and other charges on the behalf of the state.

Taking to Twitter, the spokesperson said that more than two dozen people have been arrested so far, adding that a Kalashnikov and other weapons have been recovered.

Under a premeditated plan, the mob attempted to attack the high court and the judicial complex, the spokesperson added.

“Police teams have been deployed to different provinces to arrest the people involved in the incident,” he added.

The spokesperson maintained that leaders of a “political party” were leading the mob, adding that they provoked the people, which led to vandalism.

The spokesperson added that government property was damaged at the judicial complex, while the police prevented any such move in the high court.

Sanaullah vows to arrest culprits

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, while reacting to the incident, said that the government would take action against perpetrators for "attacking" the judicial complex, rioting, and sabotaging the judiciary’s dignity.

In a press conference alongside Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Azma Bukhari and Talal Chaudhry, the minister said that the culprits would be booked and arrested on terror charges.

Sanaullah said: “The banking court, which is present in the judicial complex, was stormed by around 400 'worker-like goons' who were with them."

"They attacked the policemen on duty by pushing them and ripping their uniforms apart and caused damage to the building by breaking its glass," the interior minister said.

He added that despite the riots, Khan was still granted bail. However, the minister — who is also a PML-N leader from Punjab — said that the government will take strict legal action against these goons.

Sanaullah said that the “pampering behaviour” of the courts encourages hostility among Khan’s supporters. “The event that took place today, in which the judicial complex and the judiciary were attacked, only happened because they are receiving mild treatment.”

He condemned the attack and asserted that legal action is inevitable after what has happened today.

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