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Court orders removal of terrorism section from shoe-hurling case

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court has directed police to remove Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 from a case pertaining to the hurling of a shoe at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at a ceremony in Jamia Naeemia in Garhi Shahu. 

The ATC judge gave this order after hearing arguments from prosecution and defense counsels.

On March 11, suspect Munawar Hussain tossed a shoe at Sharif when he approached the podium to address the gathering in Jamia Naeemia.

Subsequently, he along with his two associates – Muhammad Sajid and Abdul Ghafoor – was taken into custody.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against them under Section 355(assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour a person), 504 (criminal intimidation) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPP) and Section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order.

Later, Section 7 of the ATA was also incorporated in the FIR.

The counsel for the accused persons said his client threw a shoe at Sharif out of hatred for him for introducing a controversial amendment to the law regarding finality of prophethood.

He further said Sharif was no more prime minister, nor was he a member of parliament. He, therefore, should be treated as an ordinary citizen, he added.

In his arguments, a prosecutor said the crime comes within the ambit of terrorism as it created law and order situation in addition to fear among participants of the gathering.

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