LAHORE: In the most recent development regarding the investigation into the May 9 riots, Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and all other individuals who were named as suspects, have now been officially charged with “criminal conspiracy.”
These additional charges have been brought forth in connection to the related cases, as confirmed by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigation, Anoosh Masood, during a press conference held in Lahore on Wednesday.
Masood disclosed that nine additional sections related to treason have been included in the case documentation concerning acts of vandalism and violence that erupted following the arrest of the former prime minister in the infamous £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) UK settlement case on May 9. These charges apply to all the suspects, including Imran Khan.
The investigating official further indicated that there is evidence suggesting involvement in inciting mutiny and planning acts of vandalism by the PTI leader.
Masood stated, “Section 120(B), pertaining to the punishment for criminal conspiracy, of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), has been appended to all cases linked to the incidents of May 9.”
She also emphasized that all objections raised by the prosecution have been addressed prior to the submission of the case documents in court.
The former prime minister, who was removed from office via a parliamentary vote in April of the previous year, underwent intensive questioning by a special Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with investigating the May 9 disturbances that occurred across the country. Permission for this inquiry was granted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
Imran Khan, who is currently in custody at Attock jail in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, along with several others, including certain PTI leaders, faces various allegations related to the violence that unfolded following his arrest on May 9.
The riots resulted in the tragic loss of at least eight lives and left several others injured, leading authorities to detain numerous PTI members and supporters. Many party members and senior leaders were incarcerated due to their involvement in acts of violence and attacks on military installations.
During the protests, rioters targeted both civil and military facilities, including Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military declared May 9 as a “Black Day” and decided to subject the protesters to trial under the Army Act.
To investigate Imran Khan’s role in the ensuing violence, police introduced charges such as incitement to mutiny and an attempt to wage war, among other provisions, on August 18, as documented in the case diary. Following this, they approached the anti-terrorism court to obtain permission for the investigation into the PTI leader.
At the request of the police, Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar of the court issued an order accordingly.
The additional offenses brought forth include sections 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups, etc), 153-B (Inducing students, etc, take part in political activity), 146 (Rioting), 131 (Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor, or airman from his duty), 121 (Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against Pakistan), 121-A (Conspiracy to commit offenses punishable by Section 121), 120-A (Definition of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), and 107 (Abetment of a thing).