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Farooq Sattar acquitted in Pakistan Quarters rioting case

Farooq Sattar acquitted in Pakistan Quarters rioting case

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Tuesday exonerated estranged Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar and 13 others in a case pertaining to provoking violence and arson to obstruct eviction of families occupying government houses in the Pakistan Quarters area in 2018.

Dr Sattar along with around 300 to 400 others was charged with allegedly instigating violence, rioting and armed assault on local administration officials and law enforcers during an hours-long standoff between residents and officials on Oct 24, 2018.

On Tuesday, the ATC-VIII judge pronounced her verdict.

Dr Sattar and 13 nominated accused persons appeared in court on bail.

The judge noted that the prosecution failed to prove the allegations against the accused persons, hence exonerated all the 14 nominated accused persons.

The judge directed the prison authorities to release all the accused persons if their custody was not required in any other case.

In July 2019, the court had indicted Dr Sattar, Shamim Ahmed, Qazi Faisal Siddiqui, Raheemuddin, Asif Raza, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Idrees, Asif Ali, Mohammad Osama, Santosh, Altaf Hussain, Mohammad Ayaz, Nadeem Ahmed along with scores of unknown residents.

Defence counsel Latif Pasha denied the allegations and claimed innocence on the part of Mr Sattar and 13 others. He asked the court to acquit them of the “false and fabricated” charges levelled by the police.

On the other hand, special public prosecutor Najma contended that there was sufficient evidence to connect the role of the accused persons with the commissioning of the offence alleged by the prosecution against the accused persons and asked to punish them strictly in accordance with the law.

A case was lodged under relevant sections of the law at the Soldier Bazaar police station.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020

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