Parvez Elahi booked on terror charges following ‘attack’ on law enforcers during late-night raid

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Punjab Police on Saturday registered a case against former chief minister Parvez Elahi and others, claiming that its officials were “attacked with stones, batons and petrol” during a raid on the PTI leader’s house in Lahore to arrest him in a corruption case the previous night.

The raiding team, which included officials of Anti-Corruption Establish­ment (ACE) and police, had used an armoured vehicle to break open the main gate of the former Punjab chief minister’s Gulberg residence and arrested 12 people, mostly his employees, from the house. Female police officers had also taken some women into custody.

The police officials had thoroughly searched the house but was unable to find Elahi. They had also tried to force their entry into the adjoining residence of PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, but they were resisted by Shujaat’s sons.

A first information report (FIR) was lodged today at at Lahore’s Ghalib Market Police Station invoking Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, and Section 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 109 (abetment), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 212 (harbouring offender), 427, 434 and 440 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — registered on the complaint of a duty officer, when the police arrived at Elahi’s residence to make the arrest, his employees “locked the house from the inside, while a countless” number of people present inside threatened the raiding team, pelted them with stones, and even doused petrol on them, causing a fire to break out“.

As a result, the complainant claimed, more police contingents were summoned to control the situation and an APC van was used to gain entry into the house.

According to the FIR, Elahi used the rear entrance of the house to escape as his supporters and workers “baton-charged the police party”.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry condemned the raid on Elahi’s house, and said that the party will hold a meeting today to decide whether or not to continue the ongoing talks with the government regarding elections date.

“The attack on Parvez Elahi’s house, keeping Ali Amin Gandapur in wrongful confinement despite being granted bail and workers’ arrests are making the negotiation process meaningless,” he tweeted.

“If the government’s negotiation team cannot play any role in keeping the atmosphere calm even after assurances, then how will it make big decisions?” Fawad asked.

“We will make the decision of continuing the negotiation process or not in a meeting today presided by Imran Khan.”