KARACHI: The anti-terrorism courts' (ATCs) administrative judge sent on Monday a top Shia cleric to jail on judicial remand for 15 days in a six-month-old case pertaining to alleged hate speech.
The police presented Allama Mirza Yusuf Hussain before the Sindh High Court, which supervises the ATCs in the province, and sought his physical remand for questioning. According to the prosecution, Hussain allegedly delivered a 'hateful' speech tantamount to spreading sectarian conflict during the funeral prayers of slain rights activist Khurram Zaki within the limits of the Sharifabad police station in May this year. The lawyer representing the Shia cleric opposed his physical remand and insisted that the case was motivated against his client merely for his victimisation. The judge sent the suspect to jail custody on judicial remand till November 23 and directed the investigation officer to present a charge-sheet against him at the next hearing. The police have named Jibran Nasir, Samar Abbas and others as absconding suspects in this case.
Hussain was arrested on Saturday night by the Rangers during a raid at his house adjacent to Noor-e-Iman mosque located in Nazimabad, where he leads prayers and delivers sermon.
Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate granted bail to two other Shia leaders, Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi and Ahmer Abbas Rizvi, against a surety of Rs10,000 for each of them. Both the leaders of the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen were booked a day ago under sections pertaining to rioting, blocking thoroughfares and illegal use of loudspeakers for their sit-in at Numaish, against the arrest of former Pakistan Peoples Party senator Faisal Raza Abidi. The case is registered at Soldier Bazaar police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2016.
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