May 9 riots: ATC sentences 51 accused to five-year in prison

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May 9 riots: ATC sentences 51 accused to five-year in prison

GUJRANWALA: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala on Saturday awarded five-year imprisonment each to 51 accused who were found involved in the May 9 riots last year.

The ATC judge Natasha Naseem Supra conducted the hearing of a case related to vandalism and arson at Gujranwala Cantt in which 23 PTI leaders, including the party founder Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as well as over 400 suspects had been nominated.

While announcing a short verdict, the court gave a five-year jail-term each to the accused political workers who were arrested from the vandalism site while some of them were arrested after geo-fencing, as per the police charge sheet.

The ATC will issue a detailed verdict later.

According to the police, no prominent PTI leader or party office bearer is among the 51 convicts who were awarded sentences today.

Initially, the police had nominated 23 PTI leaders in the case and more than 200 unidentified suspects. The number of nominated persons reached over 400 after the police interrogated the suspects.

During the trial, 199 witnesses recorded testimonies in the court.

Moreover, Gujranwala police also questioned the incarcerated PTI founder and Qureshi at Adiala Jail in the Gujranwala Cantt vandalism and arson case. However, the former premier did not cooperate with the investigators, according to the police, and asked his lawyers to submit reply.

The May 9 riots were triggered almost across the country after the deposed prime minister’s arrest in the £190 million settlement case. Hundreds of PTI workers and senior leaders were put behind bars for their involvement in violence and attacks on military installations.

During the protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations including — Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military termed May 9 “Black Day” and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.