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April 11, 2015

Lakhvi freed day after LHC suspends his detention

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April 11, 2015

RAWALPINDI: The alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Friday. He was released just a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended his detention and ordered his immediate release.
Jamaatud Dawa supporters were present outside the prison to receive the 55-year-old Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.The court on Thursday suspended the Punjab government’s order to the detained Lakhvi under a security act and ordered his immediate release.
Earlier in the day, Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi had said that the government was left with no other ‘legal option’ but to release his client after the LHC suspended his detention.
“Neither the government nor the Adiala Jail authorities can violate the court’s order this time,” he said.Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was earlier granted bail by an Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) in December, which infuriated New Delhi and the government quickly slapped him with a detention order under the “Maintenance of Public Order” law. The Islamabad High Court suspended that order, but the Supreme Court restored it in January.
Last month, the high court again set aside the detention order, saying the government lawyers had failed to provide evidence to justify Lakhvi`s detention. The accused was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 in connection with the attack on Mumbai by militants in which 166 people were killed. The sole surviving gunman had identified him as the mastermind.
Sources said that Lakhvi was released overnight without any announcements from jail authorities or the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), the organisation that the accused is affiliated with. JuD representatives were present outside the prison to receive Lakhvi, who was shifted to an unspecified location after his release, the sources added. On Thursday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended Lakhvi’s detention for the fourth time, ordering his immediate release.
Lakhvi had moved the LHC, challenging

his detention and claiming it to be unlawful. His lawyers had maintained in their petition that Lakhvi was being kept in custody despite the higher courts ending his detention. The LHC also accepted Lakhvi’s bail application, ordering his release on the submission of two bail bonds worth Rs1 million each. Higher courts have previously ordered Lakhvi’s release three times, only for the government to extend his custody after court orders.
Last month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared Lakhvi’s detention illegal and ordered his release.AFP adds from New Delhi: India has condemned the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi on bail as an “insult” to the victims.
“This is a very disappointing announcement. An insult to the victims of 26/11 Mumbai attack. The global community should take serious note of Pakistan’s double-speak on terrorism,” said a home ministry spokesperson who asked not to be named.

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