Anti Terrorism Court summons top PTI leadership in Dharna violence cases

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An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) resumed hearing of 2014 Dharna violence cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) top leadership and chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday.

Four cases pertaining violence were registered against leaders and workers of PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), including an attack on the Parliament, the building of state television, and former SSP Operations Junejo.

As the hearing resumed, the police presented interim-charge sheet against PTI leaders, naming Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mehmood, and Asad Umar as accused.

ATC judges, Shahrukh Arjumand and Muhammad Kausar Abbas, then summoned these leaders, who are out on bail, to appear before the court.

During the last hearing, PTI chairman was granted exemption from appearing in Dharna cases. Furthermore, a notice of a permanent exemption from appearing was also issued to prosecution.

On September 1, 2014, violence broke out in Islamabad when PAT and PTI workers attempted to break a police cordon and stormed Prime Minister House, using cranes to remove the barricades.

The decision to storm PM House was taken after negotiations between PTI, PAT leadership and government failed to end the deadlock over the resignation of then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The parties were protesting against alleged rigging in 2013 elections. The protests and clashes resulted in the death of three and injuries for over 550 people.

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