Published On: Tue, Mar 21st, 2023
Published in Category: Islamabad

Hassaan Niazi arrested for ‘misbehaving with police’

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ISLAMABAD: Hassaan Niazi, the nephew and focal person of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on legal affairs, was arrested from outside an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Monday, police officials told a private TV channel.

He was arrested for "misbehaving with the police and resisting" at a check post, police sources said, adding that he has been shifted to an unknown location.

Hassan Niazi's arrest came after his appearance at the ATC where a hearing of cases registered at Islamabad's Ramna police station against PTI leaders and workers was being held.

Meanwhile, Advocate Faisal Fareed Chaudhry has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the release of the PTI leader. The petition stated that "police abducted Hasaan Niazi from the premises of Judicial Complex after he obtained bail in a case."

Senior PTI leaders including Shibli Faraz, Omar Ayub Khan, Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, and Farrukh Habib also appeared before the court of ATC judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan for obtaining bail which was approved.

The bail applications have been approved till April 3 against surety bonds worth Rs50,000.

During the hearing of the cases, the ATC judge remarked: “There are so many suspects that [we] will have to check the history back and forth.”

All of the aforementioned leaders as well as the party’s workers had been booked under terrorism charges for the violence that erupted outside the judicial complex on Saturday where Khan had appeared in the Toshakhana case.

The PTI workers had clashed with police and caused damage to public property. They also set fire to 10 police motorcycles outside the judicial complex and overturned a police officer's car.

Meanwhile, the PTI has claimed that Imran Khan's focal person on legal affairs has been "abducted" by Superintendent of Police Nosherwan Ali Chandio, despite securing bail on all cases registered against him.

"It is the peak of police brutality. Hassaan Niazi, a lawyer whose bail was just approved by the court, has been abducted," the party tweeted.

"Barrister @HniaziISF has been abducted illegally by @ICT_Police’s SP Nausherwan despite being on bail. We condemn this fascism and demand his immediate release," the Insaf Lawyers Forum tweeted.

The forum demanded that the country's chief justice take notice of this "blatant violation of laws. "The Rule of Law in Pakistan stands suspended," the tweet read.

PTI leader Farrukh Habib wrote that the police were deployed on both sides of the ATC, so that “they could arrest” them.

“According to lawyers, the police repeatedly said that they have received special orders to pick up Hassaan Niazi and Farrukh Habib. The lawyers informed me about their intentions; I dodged them and escaped after securing bail,” he wrote on Twitter.

PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry, taking to Twitter, called Niazi’s arrest “unacceptable”.

“Arrest of @HniaziISF is unacceptable, he has been arrested from Court premises despite bail call upon ILF lawyers and Bar Associations to join in the protest,” Fawad wrote in his tweet.

Condemning the development, the party’s secretary general Asad Umar said that the Constitution seems suspended following Niazi’s arrest.

“Hassaan Niazi has been arrested despite getting bail from the court. The Constitution now appears to be suspended,” his tweet read.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Islamabad police has rubbished the PTI's claims of arresting a 10-year-old terming it "propaganda" against the police and other law enforcement institutions.

“Police have not arrested any 10-year-old minor child. A hateful propaganda is being carried out on social media to stop [us] from fulfilling our lawful duties,” the spokesperson said.

The ICT added that the police are performing their responsibilities while remaining within the scope of the law.

“The law is equal for all. Parents should keep their younger children away from crowds,” the spokesperson stated.

Earlier on Monday, the PTI Chief Imran Khan also claimed that the police in Islamabad raided homes without warrants to abduct PTI workers and “picked up” their children as young as 10 years old when the workers weren’t at home.

“Fascism at unprecedented levels with police in Islamabad raiding homes without warrants to abduct PTI workers. Where the worker is not present, children as young as 10 yrs are picked up,”

Imran Khan further demanded the “immediate release” of his party’s workers and their children. “We demand the immediate release of all our workers and their children who have been abducted,” he wrote in his tweet.

Meanwhile, in another case filed by Imran Khan — seeking details of cases registered against him — in the Islamabad High Court was also heard by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in which all parties have been issued a notice to submit their responses by March 27.

The court also sought records of all cases registered within the limits of the federal capital.

During the hearing, where PTI chief was being represented by counsel Faisal Chaudhry, the hearing at the ATC over the judicial complex violence was also discussed.

“Nothing proper happened on Saturday. What will be the difference if both you and I make a mistake?” the judge remarked.

Chaudhry said that the party has no other place to approach except the courts.

Meanwhile, the counsel said that 47 cases have been filed against the PTI chairman in Islamabad, while police have kept some first information reports (FIR) “secret”.

Responding to Chaudhry, Justice Farooq said that a FIR is not sealed because it is a public document. “Police calls for an investigation,” he remarked.

The judge assured to take notice according his jurisdiction. He also questioned the PTI lawyer asking him about the judgment related to PTI Senator Azam Swati stating that cases against the politician have been registered across the country. “If told, we would take the legal route,” Chaudhry said during the hearing.