Gulf News

Qadri snubs Butt as he tries to hug cleric

Crim­i­nal in Model Town po­lice op­er­a­tion was sen­tenced by court for smash­ing wind­screens

- BY ZUBAIR QURESHI Cor­re­spon­dent

Shahid Aziz alias Gullu Butt, a crim­i­nal who was in­volved in La­hore’s Model Town Po­lice Op­er­a­tion of June 2014, ap­peared in the Supreme Court yes­ter­day and tried to hug the chief pe­ti­tioner in the case, noted cleric Al­lama Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri. How­ever, he was in­ter­cepted by the cleric’s se­cu­rity staff and turned away.

The sud­den ap­pear­ance of Butt in the apex court build­ing has re­vived bit­ter mem­o­ries of the po­lice op­er­a­tion in which 14 peo­ple were killed and around 500 in­jured.

On June 17, 2014, La­hore Po­lice af­ter fail­ing to re­move en­croach­ment out­side the head­quar­ters of Tahir-ul-Qadri, the Min­haj-ul-Qu­ran Sec­re­tar­iat, opened fire on work­ers and ac­tivists of Qadri’s party Pak­istan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Tehreek-e-Min­haj Pak­istan in broad day­light.

Butt, how­ever, shot to fame in a dif­fer­ent role as on that day he smashed the wind­screens of dozens of ve­hi­cles parked out­side the Min­hajul-Qu­ran Sec­re­tar­iat. Video clips show­ing him lead­ing the po­lice party and smash­ing the wind­screens of cars and jeeps went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

Ear­lier he was con­sid­ered a worker of the Pak­istan Mus­lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) though later the party de­nied it and dis­as­so­ci­ated it­self from his van­dal­ism.

Af­ter the in­ci­dent, Butt was ar­rested and dur­ing one of sev­eral court hear­ings he was beaten by an­gry car own­ers.

Around four and a half months af­ter his ar­rest, an Anti-Ter­ror­ism Court of La­hore awarded a col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment of 11 years and three months im­pris­on­ment to Butt un­der five sec­tions of laws on Oc­to­ber 30, 2014.

The max­i­mum pun­ish­ment was five years in jail un­der sec­tion 7 of Anti Ter­ror­ism Act, 1997. How­ever, later a La­hore High Court bench set aside the pun­ish­ment awarded un­der ter­ror­ism charges but up­held his con­vic­tion un­der pro­vi­sions of PPC.

He was re­leased in March last year and im­me­di­ately af­ter re­lease be­came a TV celebrity as dif­fer­ent channels in Pak­istan in­ter­viewed him and in­vited him to their talk shows.

 ?? On­line ?? Gullu Butt
On­line Gullu Butt

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