ATC releases 73 protesters arrested from Faizabad sit-in on bail – Pakistan


An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday released on bail 73 men who were arrested from the 20-day sit-in staged by members of religious parties in the capital.

ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand heard the bail applications of the arrested protesters.

While approving the bail applications of 73 detainees, the judge extended the judicial remand of 47 protesters.

An identity parade will be held for the 47 accused, who have been shifted to Adiala Jail.

The court ordered the released protesters to submit surety bonds worth Rs10,000.

Among the released protesters, 41 were held at Aabpara police station, 16 at Khanna police station and 16 at I-9 police station.

Authorities had begun releasing protesters arrested during the operation at Faizabad on Monday, hours after the sit-in was called off by the protest leaders.

Punjab Rangers DG Maj Gen Azhar Naveed oversaw the release of protesters and gave Rs1,000 to each released protester as fare for their travel.

Police sources had earlier told Dawn that out of the 400 men arrested, 30 had already been released following the agreement between the government and the protesters.

Capital in chaos

After the weeks-long protest, which virtually paralysed the capital and led to several people losing their lives, the government had finally bent its knee before the protesters on Monday after Zahid Hamid resigned from his post as federal law minister.

The minister’s resignation came in the aftermath of the bot­ched operation against protesters at Faizabad on Saturday and the subsequent ‘successful negotiations’ with leaders of the demonstration late Sunday night.

Six people were killed while hundreds were injured during the operation. The terms of the agreement included blanket immunity for all those arrested during the crackdown on the agitating protesters.

The agreement between the government and the protesters to end the sit-in has subsequently faced much criticism.


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