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Ex-IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera indicted in Model Town case

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Tuesday indicted former Punjab police chief Mushtaq Sukhera in a case pertaining to the Model Town carnage.

The ex-IG Punjab pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the charges against him.

The judge adjourned the hearing until tomorrow (Wednesday) and summoned prosecution witnesses to record their testimonies.

At the outset of the hearing, Mr Sukhera requested the ATC judge to put off the proceedings of the framing of charges against him for a week and refused to sign the indictment.

The judge, while rejecting his request, directed the former top police officer to sign the indictment.

Last week, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri showed up before a Supreme Court bench as it took up the Model Town case.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a petition filed by Bisma, one of the affectees of the Model Town incident, at the apex court’s Lahore registry.

The PAT chief pleaded the bench to constitute a new joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the Model Town incident afresh.

He contended that it is important to constitute a new probe team as the matter couldn’t be fairly investigated in the past. The accused were themselves complainants in the previous JIT and he didn’t expect to get justice from the partial inquiry team, he added.

Dr Tahirul Qadri claimed that the JIT recorded one-sided testimonies as per its wishes and the affectees didn’t appear before it out of fear and pressure from the then government.

After hearing initial arguments, the bench issued a notice to the provincial government to submit its response to the plea seeking constitution of a new JIT to probe the incident.

It directed the relevant anti-terrorism court to take up the Model Town case twice a week instead of daily and summon relevant officials.

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