Attack on Imran Khan: ATC extends physical remand of suspect

A police officer stands guard in front of a container truck used by the former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan during his political rallies, hours after a gun attack in Wazirabad on November 3, 2022. — AFP/File

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala Tuesday extended the physical remand of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s suspected shooter, Naveed, by 13 days.

The former prime minister was shot on November 3 as a gunman opened fire from close range as Khan’s open-top container truck made its way through a crowded street during his long march — which he called off last week after deciding to dissolve assemblies.

The police presented the prime suspect before the court upon the expiry of his 12-day remand — which the court had granted on November 17.

The court also expressed displeasure as the police had not submitted a report against those responsible for keeping the suspect in “illegal custody”.

“No action has been taken against [police officers] who kept the suspect in custody for 10 days,” the court said, as despite being arrested on the same day as the attack, the police presented Naveed before the court after almost two weeks.

The court’s order mentioned that in the next hearing, a report on the people responsible for the suspect’s illegal confinement should be presented otherwise, the head of the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the incident should appear before the ATC in person.

“The investigating officer asked for another 30 days for the photogrammetric and polygraph test of the suspect. However, a 13-day physical remand has been approved for photogrammetric and polygraph tests.”

Suspect Naveed has been nominated in a first information report (FIR) for section 302 (punishment of qatl-i-amd), 324 (attempt to commit qatl-i-amd), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 7 (punishment for the terrorist act) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

On November 3, the PTI chief survived an attempted assassination attack on himself after suspect Naveed allegedly shot him from the left side of the container amidst the long march and tried to escape.

However, he was intercepted by a Khan supporter who threw off his aim and was later sent to the custody of Lahore’s Counter Terrorism Department.

The gun attack left Khan wounded with fragments of bullets injuring his lower limbs — he has still not recovered from them, but the bandages have been removed.

Another case against Naveed for carrying unlicensed weapon

The prime suspect in the shooting case also faces another case of carrying an unlicensed weapon, which was registered today at the City Wazirabad Police Station.

He was presented before a district magistrate’s court in Wazirabad. Following the hearing, the court approved a 14-day judicial remand of Naveed.

The suspect should be presented before the court on December 12, the judicial magistrate said.

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