PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday ordered the release of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers arrested in the last few days under the Maintenance of the Public Order (MPO) ordinance.
The PHC suspended the detention orders by deputy commissioners of different districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under 3 MPO and fixed over 150 cases for arguments.
Apart from those held for attacking government buildings, police and army establishments, a large number of leaders and workers of the PTI were held under the MPO.
Over 150 PTI leaders and workers had moved the PHC by submitting applications against actions under the 3 MPO. The court had reserved judgment in the case.
On Thursday, a division bench of the PHC comprising Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Asadullah ordered the suspension of the orders by the DCs and ordered the release of those held under the MPO after they provided the surety bonds to the district administration.
Police in the last several days have arrested over 1400 people, mostly workers of the PTI, for their alleged involvement in violent attacks on public and private buildings, checkposts, ambulances and other vehicles during the rallies taken out by the PTI to protest the arrest of the party chairman Imran Khan last week. A number of people held in the province were arrested under the MPO.
It was learnt that police were still conducting raids to arrest all those involved in violent attacks as well as torching and ransacking check-posts and other establishments during the protests.
A police official said cops were directed to conduct the raids on the hujras (male guest houses) as well as to keep the policewomen in the raiding parties.
“The current arrests are being made on the basis of documentary evidence of their involvement in attacks on government and private properties during the two days of protests. The accused are being identified through the footage available with the investigation teams and their details are handed to the raiding parties,” a senior cop said.
A total of seven people had lost lives while over 106 civilians and 36 policemen were wounded in clashes in Peshawar and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during two days of violent protests by the PTI workers. Reports said another man died on Wednesday, raising the death toll to eight. Five of those were killed in Peshawar, two in Kohat and one in Lower Dir.