An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan's Punjab province on Friday granted bail to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nephew. Police alleged that he was involved in last week's deadly attack on a hospital in the city of Lahore.
The court restrained the police from arresting the prime minister’s nephew Hassan Niazi, but asked him to cooperate with their investigation, Pakistan daily The Express Tribune reported.
He was later named in one of the two first information reports (FIRs), registered for vandalising a police car parked outside the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).
It may be recalled that soon after the attack on the PIC, the Punjab government ordered provincial police to search for Niazi and arrest him.
Prime Minister Imran Khan at that time ordered an inquiry into the rioting by several lawyers. However, he did not comment on his nephew’s alleged involvement in the incident in spite of him initially supporting the protest through a post on social media.
Police had registered two cases covering a wide range of charges, including terrorism and murder, against over 250 lawyers after they went on a rampage through the PIC, and assaulted doctors, nursing staff and attendants on 11 December.
Both cases were registered under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The lawyers’ attack, triggered by a doctor taunting the legal fraternity, was so severe that at least three cardiac patients died in Punjab’s largest cardiac-centric facility.
After damaging the hospital, the protesting lawyers reassembled in the heart of Lahore city, blocking key thoroughfares over a demand that police arrest the doctor who had taunted their professional organisation in a video.