Marwat, other PTI leaders booked after Swabi workers’ convention

Violation of Section 144 carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to two years or a fine, or both

PESHAWAR  -  A case has been registered against 21 local leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), including former provincial minister Sher Afzal Marwat, for organizing a workers’ convention in Swabi, defying Section 144 that prohibits gatherings of more than five people.

The FIR was registered under the supervision of the Swabi police station SHO after officials and workers of the PTI went ahead with the convention yesterday, flouting the restriction imposed by the district administration. Along with Marwat, other prominent PTI figures named in the case include former MPAs Aqibullah and Abdul Karim, Tehsil Mayor Attaullah Faisal Tarkai, District President Sohail Yousafzai, and Adnan Qaiser. Several unidentified workers have also been booked.

The violation of Section 144, typically invoked to maintain law and order or prevent the spread of infectious diseases, carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to two years or a fine, or both.

The PTI’s decision to hold the convention despite the ban drew criticism from various quarters. The district administration had blocked roads leading to the venue and warned against defying the restriction, citing potential security concerns and the ongoing public health emergency.

However, the PTI leadership maintained that the convention was a peaceful gathering aimed at mobilizing party workers and highlighting pressing issues faced by the people of Swabi. They accused the administration of adopting a discriminatory approach and stifling dissent.

The registration of the case has escalated tensions between the PTI and the local authorities. It remains to be seen how the party will respond to the legal action and whether further clashes or protests will erupt in Swabi. This development adds another layer to the already volatile political climate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI has been actively campaigning against the ruling coalition government.

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