May 9 Riots Cases: Pakistan ATC Grants Bail to PTI Leader Omar Ayub Khan

May 9 Riots

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Pakistan has granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan and other party leaders in the May 9 cases after the police failed to present the records of four cases and witnesses in court, according to reports.

The court heard the case against PTI leaders, including Omar Ayub, Shibli Faraz, Azam Swati, Zartaj Gul, Zain Qureshi, and former party leader Fawad Chaudhry.

The police failed to present the records of four cases and witnesses in court, prompting the judge to express annoyance with the investigation officer. Due to a lack of evidence, the court granted bail to all the defendants, according to sources.

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) delivered its verdict against the 51 accused in the May 9 riots cases in March.

Judge Natasha Naseem Supra heard the case and listed the charges against each of the accused, who were identified as workers affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The judge sentenced each of the 51 defendants to five years of imprisonment under various provisions.

Last month, Khan responded to critics who targeted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for organizing and carrying out protests on May 9. He described the incident as “a conspiracy to target party founder Imran Khan.”

The events on May 9 stemmed from violent protests that erupted following the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan at the Islamabad High Court in 2023 on corruption charges. The protests took place in both remote areas and major cities across Pakistan, driven by anger among party workers over their chairman’s arrest. Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad called in the armed forces to maintain law and order, as per reports.

Additionally, army installations, including the Corps Commander’s residence in Lahore, were targeted during the protests by PTI workers.

Notably, PTI founder Imran Khan has been identified as the principal accused in all cases related to the May 9 riots.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte