Mianwali police besiege Sargodha court to rearrest acquitted PTI workers

A contingent of Mianwali police cordoned off the sessions court premises since Wednesday morning to rearrest the 37 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers booked in May 9 cases .

On Tuesday, all 37 PTI workers were acquitted by ATC courts in Sargodha, including former MNA Amjad Ali Khan, but Mianwali City Police arrested them from the compound of Sargodha central jail as soon as they came out of the prison and brought them to Mianwali under section 16 MPO (Maintenance of Public Order).

On Wednesday, police produced them before Duty Magistrate Mohammad Asif Mustafi and it was revealed that on Tuesday night, Wan-Bhachran police in Mianwali registered another case against all of them under sections 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 324 (attempted murder) and 353 (assault) of the Pakistan Penal Code and 16 (Dissemination of rumours) of MPO (while they were in police custody).

The duty magistrate deleted sections 324 PPC and 16 MPO, while the remaining sections were bailable and released them on personal bonds. The court released all 37 workers and ordered the police to remove the handcuffs in the court, but they refused to do so.

The matter was brought to the notice of the district and sessions judge, who ordered police to release them or be ready to face legal action, since police cannot arrest them from court premises.

The police removed the handcuffs and remained deployed outside the court to arrest the party workers again till the filing of this report.

Talking to Dawn, bar association president Fateh Khan Niazi said police action is unconstitutional and illegal. He said Amjad Ali Khan and some workers have been arrested under section 3 of MPO, but a majority of them are still sitting on the premises of the court.

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