The Punjab police have pressed charges of ‘criminal conspiracy’ against Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), and all other suspects in May 9 cases across the province. Official sources have disclosed to Dawn that a total of 50 cases were registered, encompassing charges under anti-terrorism and other relevant laws. Among these, 14 cases were filed in various police stations in Lahore and Rawalpindi, while nine were recorded in Sargodha, seven in Sheikhupura, five in Faisalabad, and one in Gujranwala.
Moreover, the Punjab police have recently added offenses under sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or aiding such efforts against Pakistan), 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to influence a soldier, sailor, or airman from their duty), and 146 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to the FIRs.
Dr. Anoosh Masood Chaudhry, Lahore SSP (Investigation), while talking to the media, revealed that the police have also incorporated certain offenses/sections, including 34 and 120b of the PPC, into the May 9 cases.
Section 34 reads: “Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. When a criminal act is done by several persons, in furtherance of the common intention of all, each such person is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.”
Section 120b states: “Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.”
As per the Lahore police’s investigation, Dr. Chaudhry stated that there appears to be substantial evidence confirming incitement to mutiny and the planning of vandalism on May 9.
Responding to a question regarding Imran Khan’s presence at the crime scene, she emphasized that it is immaterial whether he was physically there or not, as evidence suggests that he incited the suspects to carry out violent attacks on sensitive installations of the Pakistan Army.
Dr. Chaudhry further noted that the prosecution and police are awaiting final reports from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) concerning videos and other evidence related to the planners and perpetrators of the May 9 incidents. She assured that all objections raised by the prosecution have been addressed, and the challans for the May 9 cases will be submitted to the courts of law after receiving reports from the FIA and Pemra.