LAHORE  - A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Tuesday suspended sentence of 13 Pakistan Awami  Tehreek (PAT) workers, convicted for attacking police at Bhera interchange Sargodha in August 2014,  and ordered to release them on bail. The division bench comprising Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi and Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural heard the

bail petitions filed by Alam Sher, Ijaz Hussain, Tanveer, Juma Khan, Abbas Ali, Muhammad Bilal, Eid,   Muhammed Ramzan, Muhammad Bashir, Mulazim Hussain,  Muhammed Ghazi, Naeem Ullah  and Muhammad Nawaz.

The defence counsel argued before the court that a trial court had awarded seven-year jail term to the PAT workers for attacking the police at the Bhera interchange on Motorway in the Sargodha area  in 2014.

He contended that the charges levelled against the workers were baseless. He submitted that the workers  were coming from different cities to attend Rasm-e-Qul of Model Town victims when the police stopped

them and subjected them to torture and also registered case against them.

He further submitted that it was alleged that a mob of six thousand persons attacked the police then how it could be determined that the only 107 convicts attacked the police.

He  submitted that the trial court failed to appreciate case facts and convicted them in violation of law. He pleaded with the court to grant benefit of bail to the petitioners after suspending their convict. The court  was apprised that appeal against conviction was pending. However, the prosecution opposed the plea, saying that solid evidence was available against the convicts.

The bench after hearing detailed arguments,  suspended the sentence and ordered the release on bail.

On April 19, 2019, an  ATC in Sargodha  sentenced 107 workers, including petitioners,  of PAT to seven-year jail each .The ATC had set 157 of the PAT workers free for lack of evidence.

It may be mentioned that a mob, travelling to Islamabad to participate in the party protest in Aug 2014, had

clashed with police at the Bhera interchange on motorway in the Sargodha area and injuries were reported

on both sides. The Sargodha division police had booked around 300 PAT workers for attacking the police and damaging public and private properties under the anti-terrorism laws.