LAHORE: Lahore High Court on Friday granted five-day physical remand of a man who was arrested on Thursday for taking pictures of portraits of retired judges inside the courtroom. Old Anarkali police had sought a 14-day physical remand to interrogate the suspect.
Police had earlier told the court that they had recovered footage of jehadi trainings and pictures of some leaders of banned organisations from the mobile phone of the suspect, Raheem Saleem. They said the man was arrested on suspicion of working for a terrorist organsiation.
But the CIA officials on Friday said that preliminary investigation suggested that Saleem had nothing to do with any banned organsiation. They said the suspect belonged to Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, and was a hobby photographer. They said his mobile phone contained pictures of several public places including some in Azad Kashmir.
He said Saleem was a student of software engineering at the University of Science and Technology, Mirpur, and worked for his uncle, Maqbool Khan, who was a Hajj and Umra operator. His three brothers and three sisters lived in Birmingham. On Thursday, they said, Saleem had accompanied his uncle for a hearing at the court.
Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial had noticed him taking pictures and had directed the police to arrest him. A case was registered against him under Section 11/w of the Anti Terrorism Act on the complaint of the Lahore High Court security in charge, Shafiqur Rehman. He was later handed over to the CIA.
Some lawyers on Friday expressed concern over negligence of the security officials at the courtroom saying that despite the ban on mobile phones, the suspect was using it there.
They said a place should be provided at the LHC like the Supreme Court, where visitors could deposit their mobile phones before they entered a courtroom. Otherwise, they suggested, the LHC security officials should check every litigant before they entered the courtroom.
SP (investigation) Rana Azeem told The Express Tribune that though the suspect did not have any bad intentions while taking the pictures, the act was against the law. He said that an investigation was being carried out to probe the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.
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