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51 Individuals Sentenced to Five Years in Prison by ATC for May 9 Riots

GUJRANWALA: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) handed down five-year prison sentences to 51 individuals convicted of involvement in the riots that occurred on May 9 last year.

Under the leadership of ATC judge Natasha Naseem Supra, the court proceedings focused on incidents of vandalism and arson in Gujranwala Cantt. Among the accused were 23 PTI leaders, including party founder Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, alongside over 400 initially implicated suspects.

The court has delivered a verdict, sentencing each accused political worker apprehended at the scene of vandalism to five years in jail, while some were arrested later through geo-fencing, as stated in the police charge sheet. A comprehensive verdict is anticipated to be issued by the ATC at a later date.

Reportedly, none of the 51 convicts sentenced today include prominent PTI leaders or party officeholders. Originally, the police had named 23 PTI leaders and over 200 unidentified individuals as suspects. However, the number of accused rose to over 400 following police interrogations.

Throughout the trial, 199 witnesses provided testimonies in court. Additionally, Gujranwala police interrogated the detained PTI founder and Qureshi at Adiala Jail regarding the Gujranwala Cantt vandalism and arson case. Nonetheless, the former prime minister declined to cooperate with investigators, directing his lawyers to respond instead.

The May 9 riots erupted nationwide following the arrest of the deposed prime minister in a £190 million settlement case. Numerous PTI activists and senior leaders were detained for their involvement in violent acts and attacks on military installations. During the protests, civil and military sites, including Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, were targeted by miscreants. The military labeled May 9 as a “Black Day” and opted to try the demonstrators under the Army Act.

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