MQM’s mayor-elect shifted to prison on court orders;
ATC judge wants charge sheet submitted at next hearing
The under detention Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s mayor- elect, Waseem Akhtar, was on Tuesday sent to the central prison on judicial remand by an administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts (ATC), after the expiration of his four-day physical remand.
The court sought a charge sheet against Akhtar after 14 days, when the next hearing would be held.
He was booked in two cases pertaining to charges of facilitating provocative speeches of MQM chief Altaf Hussain, providing shelter and medical treatment to criminals at the hospitals of detained former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain, and in around seven cases related to the May 12, 2007 carnage.
He was handed over to officials of the Malir police station on a four-day physical remand after the expiry of which he was presented before the administrative judge.
Earlier, an attorney for Akthar had informed the court that charges of facilitating the MQM chief’s speech were levelled in regard to a meeting of the party’s women wing, which was not attended by the accused.
Over the prosecution’s request to extend his physical remand, the court observed that he could be interrogated in the central prison and was, hence, not necessary for him to be in police custody.
His bail pleas with respect to the provocative speech case was referred to ATC (I), to conduct an hearing and a notice was issued to the provincial prosecutor general.
Akhtar’s application seeking A-class facilities at the prison was also entertained by the court.
With respect to cases regarding May 12 violence, the court was informed that cases were registered in separate police stations including Sohrab Goth police station, Steel Town police station, Sukhan police station and Malir City police station.
Later, the mayor-elect in an informal conversation with media personnel hailed the Sindh government’s decision to get a new chief minister for the province, since a pro-active CM was the need of the hour.
He welcomed Murad Ali Shah’s nomination observing that he was a competent man and was a good selection for the CM’s post.
“It is a democratic era and there are no chances of governor’s rule being imposed in Sindh,” he added.
However, it was the prerogative of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led Sindh government to bring a change within the house, Akhtar had reportedly said.
On yet another question hinting towards his physical remand with SSP Rao Anwaar – a cop with a long history of bad blood with MQM - heading his investigations, Akhtar laughingly added that he was detained at the ‘right place’.
His bail plea with respect to being a co-accused of Dr Hussain’s was turned down by the ATC (II).
Three other leaders, Pak Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) Anis Qaimkhani, a leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Abdul Qadir Patel and another senior leader of MQM, Rauf Siddiqui, were also those nominated alongside Akhtar; almost all bail pleas in the case were dismissed.
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