Lahore: A deadlock over filing an FIR in connection with an assassination attempt on Imran Khan has deepened when the former premier’s party raised questions over alleged police reluctance to register their complaint, while the police denied having received any application, according to a media report Sunday.
Khan, 70, suffered a bullet injury in the right leg on Thursday when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others mounting on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area of Punjab province, where he was leading a protest march against the Shehbaz Sharif government.
Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of a sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by a religious extremist.
He also said that an FIR was not being registered as some people were afraid of (some names).
The deadlock stemmed from Khan’s insistence on naming the Army officer in the FIR.
The controversy deepened on Saturday when Khan’s party raised questions over alleged police reluctance to register their complaint, the Dawn newspaper reported.
While the Punjab Police took into custody at least three suspects linked to the shooting, they denied having received any application from the PTI for an FIR.
On the other hand, Khan’s nephew Advocate Hassaan Niazi told Dawn they had submitted the application at the police station, but the personnel did not provide them with any receipt for the same.
He said they “left the application on the table” and came back. Later, he tweeted, “SHO Wazirabad and DPO Wazirabad refuse to even take the application. 48 hours gone. Police refusing to take applications. Telling applicant Zubair Niazi (PTI Lahore General Secretary) to take out that ONE name. They say the crime minister’s name is fine.”
Amid the deadlock between Punjab’s ruling coalition partners — PTI and the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid e Azam Group) — over the issue, there were rumours that the provincial government was going to transfer Inspector General of Police (IGP) Faisal Shahkar.
A PTI worker died and 14 others, including Khan, were injured in the attack.
PTI Vice Chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi alleged it seemed the hands of some officials were tied and there was some kind of pressure on them not to entertain their application for the Wazirabad attack.
“Since an FIR was not being registered in such a serious case, it has raised a serious question mark,” he said, adding that people were not satisfied with the Punjab police chief’s performance.
It was also the responsibility of the provincial government to investigate the matter and determine if the top police officer was really “helpless”, he added.
A senior police officer from Islamabad, requesting anonymity, told the newspaper that under Article 25 of the Constitution every citizen of the country is equal and a case can be registered against anyone whether he is a serving Army officer, civil officer, prime minister or not.
He said the first information report can be registered against anyone on the complaint of a citizen. He said the Station House Officer (SHO) could hold an inquiry on any complaint before the registration of an FIR.
Since there could also be a ‘fake’ complaint against any citizen, the police officer also had the power to hold an inquiry first and then decide whether to register the case or not, he said. The SHO also had the power to register a case against the complainant if he found his application was ‘fake and frivolous’.