ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police on Sunday registered a terrorism case against more than a dozen members of former prime minister Imran Khan’s party for vandalism at the capital’s judicial complex, local media reported, a day after clashes between Khan supporters and law enforcement during his court appearance.
Khan supporters clashed with police for the second time in a week on Saturday as the ex-premier arrived at the judicial complex to attend proceedings of a case against him relating to the sale of state gifts.
The court earlier this month issued Khan’s non-bailable arrest warrants in the case, but the former premier and his party managed to keep the law enforcers from arresting him. After Saturday’s chaos in Islamabad, the trial court canceled the warrants and adjourned the proceedings till March 30.
However, the Islamabad police booked 17 members of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, including Ali Amin Gandapur, Murad Saeed, Aamir Kiani, Asad Qaiser, Shibli Faraz, Asad Umar and Omar Ayub Khan, for the violence unleashed outside the judicial complex, Pakistan’s Geo News channel reported.
“As many as 18 people were arrested for arson, pelting of stones and breaking the judicial complex’s building,” the report read, citing the police’s first information report (FIR).
“About two police vehicles and seven motorcycles were burned, and the official vehicle of the station house officer (SHO) was damaged.”
The FIR, registered under various sections for 10 offenses, said that handguns and anti-riot kits of about eight policemen were stolen, adding the police had arrested 20 people for vandalism and burning state-owned vehicles.
Khan was scheduled to be indicted in the case involving the sale of state gifts, commonly known as the Toshakhana reference, but the court had to adjourn the proceedings after clashes broke out between his supporters and law enforcement personnel Saturday evening.
The clashes first erupted in the eastern city of Lahore on Tuesday, leaving scores injured on both sides.
On Saturday, police also stormed Khan’s residence in Lahore and arrested 61 people amid tear gas and clashes between Khan’s supporters and police.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, a close Khan aide, said on Sunday his party would get cases registered against police officers involved in the operation and violence during the raid at Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
“All these incidents are indicative of the ongoing constitutional crisis in Pakistan,” Chaudhry said on Twitter.
Khan, who was ousted in a parliamentary no-trust vote in April last year, has been leading nationwide protests and pressing for early national elections that are otherwise scheduled to be held by October.
The former premier faces a slew of cases across the country, with charges against him ranging from murder to sedition, which carries a death penalty.