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April 18, 2021

28 TLP workers remanded in judicial custody in rioting case

Karachi

April 18, 2021

The anti-terrorism courts’ administrative judge on Saturday remanded more than two dozen workers of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan in jail custody for two days for their alleged involvement in recent rioting and road blockage in Karachi.

Twenty-eight workers were produced by the Kharadar police in the court on the expiry of their physical remand. The investigation officer submitted before the judge that the suspects were arrested while they were blocking the main roads along the Merewether Tower on April 13.

He added that the suspects were interrogated during their physical remand and the investigation did not require their custody any longer. The judge sent the suspects to jail in judicial custody till May 5 and sought a charge sheet at the next hearing.

As many as 67 suspects were arrested across the city, including the remits of Bilal Colony, Orangi Town, Pirabad, Kharadar, PIB Colony and New Town police stations, after the authorities launched a crackdown against the TLP following its countrywide sit-in campaigns against the arrest of its leader, Saad Rizvi, son the late party founder Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

The suspects have been booked under sections pertaining to rioting, attacking police personnel, preventing them from discharge of their duties and causing terrorism on the compliant of the state. The party has been banned by the government under the Anti-Terrorism Act on April 15.

Incendiary speech cases

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has ordered police to present remaining witnesses in cases against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leadership for allegedly facilitating the hate speech of their party founder on August 22, 2016.

As many as 27 cases were put up for hearing on Saturday in which MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Rauf Siddiqui, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Qamar Mansoor and Wasim Akhtar appeared in person while an attorney for Amir Khan appeared on his behalf.

During the hearing, the defence counsels cross-examined witnesses produced by the prosecution. Two police officers had testified during a previous hearing.

After recording the proceedings, the ATC adjourned the hearing till May 22 and directed the investigation officer to present the remaining witnesses on the next date.

According to the prosecution, chief of then united MQM, Altaf Hussain, who has been living in self-exile in London for almost three decades now, uttered controversial remarks about the country and allegedly incited his party workers to resort to violence during his speech on August 22, 2016.

One person was killed, several were injured, and a police vehicle and a motorcycle were set on fire allegedly by the charged protesters. Soon after these incidents, a crackdown was launched by the authorities against the MQM, which culminated in the party splitting in two factions of MQM-Pakistan and MQM-London, which is a pro-Altaf faction and faces a blanket ban on its activities.

The main case was registered at the Artillery Maidan police station under the sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 324, 302, 435, 436, 337, 123A, 124A, 109, 114, 427, 506B and 395 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the sections 6 and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Altaf has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case.