LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday approached the Lahore High Court seeking contempt proceedings against the police authorities for conducting a search operation at the Zaman Park residence of former prime minister Imran Khan.

A contempt petition has been filed on behalf of PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry saying a brutal and illegal police operation by use of force and heavy artillery, arms and ammunition has been carried out at the residence of the PTI chairman, petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique told the media.

The petition states that the LHC disposed of a plea with a direction to the petitioner (Chaudhry) and others to cooperate with the police and allow them free access to the Zaman Park residence of Imran Khan for investigation of the incidents occurred on March 14 and 15.

However, it alleges that the police, in sheer disregard of privacy of female citizens including the wife of Imran Khan among others, fiercely used force to enter the premises besides teargas and baton-charge.

It says the police operation has been carried out by design as it started soon after the departure of Imran Khan for Islamabad to appear before a court.

The petition contends that the unlawful police operation has been carried out in sheer violation of the ToRs agreed by the members of the provincial administration of Punjab and the PTI regarding security of public rallies and processions by the party.

It says the police authorities have not acted fairly, reasonably or justly, therefore, the court should take notice of the matter and initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents.

Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, IGP Dr Usman Anwar, CCPO Bilal Siddique Kamyana, DIG Operations Kamran Afzal and SSP (Discipline) Imran Kishwar have been made parties in the petition.

On March 17, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh disposed of an application of the IGP with an observation that the investigating officers had the legal right and the duty to visit the crime scene for investigation.

The judge had directed the PTI leadership to cooperate with the police and allow them free access to the crime scene for the investigation of the FIRs registered with the Racecourse police station about the violent incidents that took place outside Zaman Park.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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