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Arrest warrant issued against 12 PML-N leaders in Punjab Assembly elections violence case

Lahore: A Lahore court on Friday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against 12 PML-N leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister's special assistant Attaullah Tarar, in relation to the ruckus created at the Punjab Assembly election, earlier this year in April, local media reported.

The orders were issued at the request of the city police seeking action against the politicians for allegedly attacking lawmakers in an assembly session two months ago. During today's hearing, the Qila Gujjar police station's investigation officer appeared before the Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Mudassir Hayat, where he sought the issuance of arrest warrants for the PML-N leaders, the Dawn reported.

The police sought the arrest warrants of the Prime Minister's special assistant Attaullah Tarar, Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Bilal Farooq Tarar, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Laghari, Saiful Malook Khokhar, Mirza Jawed, Pir Khizer Hayat, Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Abdul Rauf, Pir Ashraf Rasool, Bilal Farooq and Rana Mannan Khan.
In its application to the court, police said they were making all-out efforts to apprehend the PML-N leaders, "but they are deliberately not showing up before the law enforcement personnel".

The move comes weeks after PTI ally PML-Q's Parvez Elahi took charge as Chief Minister.
The first information report of the incident was registered the same day at Qila Gujjar Singh Police Station under sections 324 (murder attempt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public service) and 427 (causing damage), the Dawn reported.

"The investigation has to be conducted and processed after arresting the leaders," the police said in a letter to the magistrate.
The police officer told the judge that despite a case being registered against them, the PML-N leaders have knowingly refused to show up for the investigation. The judge then approved the arrest warrants of the politicians.
The Lahore police today visited the house of Rana Mashhood, and broadcasters aired CCTV footage of policemen outside his gate. Last week the police moved against Atta Tarar, a 'blue-eyed' associate of former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz in the same case, the Dawn reported.

A police team raided both PML-N leaders' residences in the city but returned empty-handed as the suspects were in the capital.
The Dawn earlier reported that the PML-N leaders have flown off to the "safer confines" of Islamabad, where their party is in power, to evade arrest.

In response, former chief minister Hamza condemned the arrest warrants and said that the raids conducted by the police at the residence of the PML-N leaders depicted a "dictatorial" mindset.
"The morale of the PML-N will not be shaken by the fascist government's brutal tactics. Such vindictive thinking cannot shake our democratic spirit," he said in a tweet.," the PML-N leader said.
He said that the Punjab government is using the police for revenge, adding that PTI Chairman Imran Khan is using the provincial government to harass the PML-N leadership.

"I applaud the courage of those who faced oppression and abuse for [nearly four] years. I was kept behind bars for 1.5 years in a political case," he added.
Hamza was elected by securing 197 out of 371 total votes in the legislature on April 16 amid a boycott by Elahi and his supporters.

As soon as Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, who was supposed to preside over the polling under a high court order, entered the hall to chair the session, violence erupted in the house.
The PTI-PML-Q lawmakers threw plastic 'lotas' at him, while some of them assaulted him, dragging him by his hair and even thrashing him, the Dawn reported.

The assembly guards rescued Mazari and took him back to his chamber as the protesting PTI and PML-Q MPAs broke the speaker's chair, microphone and a side table, and threw around various articles, including files, in the house. The mayhem lasted for around five hours. (ANI)

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