Imran and key aides ‘planned’ May 9 riots, geo-fencing reveals

LAHORE: Former prime minister Imran Khan and his close aides allegedly coordinated efforts to storm the residence of the Lahore corps commander and other buildings, Punjab police claimed citing a geo-fencing report.

Police detected over 400 calls made by the PTI chairman and other senior leaders to allegedly incite party workers to move towards the military officer’s residence in Lahore Cantt, and other sensitive public buildings. It was observed that all the rioters were in contact with the PTI top leadership, based in Zaman Park.

Inspector General of Police Punjab Dr Usman Anwar, when contacted by Dawn, confirmed the geo-fencing record and the alleged use of Imran Khan’s residence for planning the attack on the corps commander’s residence.

/2 w-full media--right media--embed media--uneven">

A senior officer, requesting anonymity, told Dawn that many important revelations had come from the analysis of the geo-fencing record: it was detected that 154 calls were allegedly made by Imran Khan to party leaders and rioters to provoke them to attack. He said the PTI chairman was the “prime suspect” who allegedly planned the attack on the house of the corps commander.

The officer said call records showed all phone calls were made on May 8 and May 9 — the day of Mr Khan’s arrest — to prepare workers to attack the building. He said as many as a total of 225 callers were reportedly in contact with six PTI leaders; Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid, Mahmoodur Rasheed, Ejaz Chaudhary, Aslam Iqbal, and Murad Ras. They were issuing “particular instructions to the rioters”, he claimed, adding that Dr Yasmin Rashid received 41 calls from various activists of the party.

Similarly, Hammad Azhar made 10 calls to the suspects, while Mahmoodur Rasheed got 75 calls from the alleged attackers. According to the record, Ejaz Chaudhary, Aslam Iqbal, and Murad Ras received 50, 16, and 23 calls each, respectively.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2023