Journalists Shaheen Sehbai, Wajahat Khan among 4 booked for ‘inciting attacks on military installations’ on May 9

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The Islamabad police on Monday booked journalists Shaheen Sehbai and Wajahat Saeed Khan, as well as army-officer-turned-Youtuber Adil Raja and anchorperson Syed Haider Raza Mehdi for “abetting mutiny” and inciting people to attack military installations across the country on May 9 — the day violent protests erupted following PTI chief Imran Khan’s arrest.

During the protest, military installations — including the Lahore corps commander’s residence — and state properties were damaged across Pakistan.

In a first information report (FIR) registered today, complainant Muhammad Aslam said he was passing by the capital’s G-11 locality on May 9 when he saw 20-25 people sharing “screenshots of tweets and video messages” of Raja, Wajahat, Mehdi and Sehbai.

“They were inciting people to attack military installations, spread terrorism and create chaos in the country,” he alleged.

Aslam stated in the complaint, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, that he checked the social media accounts of the four men after the incident.

“After looking at their social media, it was confirmed that all these people, under a planned conspiracy and mutual agreement, are aiding anti-state agencies, defaming the military and attempting to create mutiny in the army,” the complainant claimed.

He further alleged that the persons nominated in the FIR wanted to “weaken the army” and “increase terrorism” in the country.

The complaint added that the accused indulged in “foolish talks” against the army with the aim to “incite terrorist activities and spread fear in the government”.

“Moreover, their purpose is to attack government and military installations and create chaos through terrorism,” Aslam alluded and demanded that criminal action should be taken against the social media accounts of the accused persons.

The FIR, registered at the Ramna police station, invoked sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), and 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty).

It also included sections 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) and 21A (cordons for Terrorist Investigation) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

May 9 and after
On May 9, PTI chief Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau with the help of the paramilitary Rangers at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case — a development that sparked countrywide protests amid incidents of vandalism and violence.

During the protest, military installations — including the Lahore corps commander’s residence — and state properties were damaged across Pakistan.

Following the episode, the military had termed the day a “dark chapter” in the country’s history and resolved to bring to justice all those involved in the vandalism.

In a more stringent step later, it decided to bring the arsonists who attacked the civil and military installations to justice through trial under relevant laws, including the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

The decision was also endorsed by the National Security Committee — the country’s top forum for coordination of security issues.