An anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the cases of provocative speech and attack on media houses issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) for arresting Altaf Hussain, Dr Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan and others on Tuesday.
Taking notice of the failure in arresting absconding Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders, including Sattar and Khan, the court said that since the investigating officer had failed to arrest them, the task was now being assigned to the Rangers.
The ATC wrote to Major General Mohammad Saeed, the provincial director general of the paramilitary force, to ensure that the absconders were arrested and produced before the court on May 31.
Sindh Assembly opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan and other MQM-Pakistan leaders, including Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui, Qamar Mansoor and Mehmood Abdur Razzaq, have also been charged in these cases but are currently out on interim bail.
The ATC is hearing around 28 cases registered at police stations in Malir and other parts of the city. The cases claim that MQM founder Altaf Hussain had made provocative speeches targeting the security institutions of the country.
They also held Dr Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan, Rauf Siddiqui, Waseem Akhtar and others responsible for assisting Hussain and acting as facilitators by arranging the events where the speeches were broadcast.
The party’s workers have also been accused of attacking some media houses on August 22 last year after they had heard one of Hussain’s provocative speeches.
NBWs in murder cases
A local court issued NBWs for arresting Rizwan Qureshi and three of his companions involved in the cases of murder of seven people in different parts of the city.
Qureshi had also made startling disclosures in connection with the Baldia factory arson attack. In the 2012 hit on Ali Enterprises, which is considered one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters, 259 workers were burnt alive.
He is accused of seven murders and is involved in six cases of possessing illegal weapons as well as several other cases. He was arrested in June 2013 in an illegal weapon case, but after obtaining bail in some cases, he escaped. The three co-accused are also facing charges of possession of illegal arms.
The court of South additional district & sessions judge issued NBWs against Qureshi, Kashif Siddiqui, Ejaz Babu and Sohail Bhoora, ordering that they be arrested and produced before the court in the next hearing.
Cases against the four accused were registered at the Sir Syed Colony police station and the Awami Colony police station.
The IO told the court that despite several attempts, the four accused could not be arrested. He said that for the fear of being arrested, the men had gone into hiding, adding that Qureshi had already been declared a proclaimed offender in two of the cases.
A provincial anti-corruption court sent two men, namely Muhammad Hassan and Amir Rafique, accused of corruption to jail on judicial remand and directed the IO to present the charge sheet against them by May 22.
The two men, along with co-accused Agha Abdul Qadir, Shakeel Shaikh and Attaur Rehman – directors at the agriculture department in Hyderabad – had allegedly misappropriated funds of more than Rs1 million between 2009 and 2011.