May 9 vandalism: ‘Only 7 cases being processed to be tried in military courts,’ says minister

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said that "only seven" out of nearly 500 cases filed after the May 9 vandalism are being processed to be tried under Army Act, rejecting the perception created by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that all of those arrested will face military courts.

"The remaining will be tried by ordinary courts," he said in a presser today in a bid to clear the air regarding the government’s crackdown against those allegedly involved in the May 9 mayhem.

“Various analyses and conspiracies have been spreading … so I thought it best to appear here and state the facts and figures,” Rana Sanaullah said.

Sharing details about the legal action taken so far against the vandals who had attacked government and military installations, the interior said that following the violent protests that erupted across the country, 499 First Information Reports (FIRs) had been registered in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Of these 499, 88 have been registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act [ATA], while 411 have been registered under other charges.”

Sanaullah further shared that 3944 suspects had been arrested in the two provinces, adding 2588 of them were taken into custody from Punjab, while 1099 were arrested by KP authorities.

The interior minister added that another 5536 arrests were made in other cases; however, of these, 80% have been released on bail.

Moreover, in a bid to clear the air regarding the military courts, he categorically denied the rumours that all cases would be tried by military courts and explained that only seven of the 499 cases are being processed to be tried in military courts.

“It is being said that everything is being taken to military courts. This is not true. Only 19 accused have been transferred to military courts in Punjab and 14 in KP. Nowhere else are these measures being taken,” he clarified.

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