• Govt lifts restriction on ban gathering after backlash.
  • LHC disposes of Hammad Azhar’s petition.
  • Case filed against top PTI leadership.

LAHORE: The ban on public gatherings imposed in the provincial capital has been lifted, advocate general Punjab informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday.

The interim government of Mohsin Naqvi had imposed Section 144 in the provincial capital to avoid any untoward incident due to multiple public gatherings on International Women’s Day and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s election rally.

The PTI had challenged the move in the LHC, blaming the provincial authorities for obstructing the election process.

At the outset of today’s hearing, Punjab’s top law officer informed the court that the government had lifted Section 144 which was imposed due to security threats.

“Yesterday was a sensitive day, so the implementation of Section 144 was the right step.”

At this, LHC disposed of PTI leader Hammad Azhar’s petition.

PTI leaders booked for ‘attacking police’

Meanwhile, senior leaders of PTI including its chairman Imran Khan were booked in a case for “attacking police” and “using foul language” against national security institutions in Lahore after Section 144 was imposed in the provincial capital.

According to the first information report (FIR), filed on behalf of the deputy superintendent of police Raiwand, a mob of at least 300-400 committed violence in the city and used foul language against the state institutions.

The FIR was lodged today under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), and Sections 147, 149, 353, 186, 302, 324, 188, 427, 290, 291, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR added that the PTI workers abused the institutions on the directions of former prime minister Imran Khan, Hassan Niazi, Hammad Azhar, Memoodul Rasheed, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, and Ejaz Chaudhry.

It stated that the violent mob pelted stones and attacked police with wooden sticks during which 13 police personnel suffered injuries while six PTI workers were also hurt due to their own party workers’ violence.

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