Month-long detention: No charge-sheet in hate speech case irks ATC

Meanwhile, the detained leaders moved applications seeking bail and better facilities inside jail


Our Correspondent February 04, 2017

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) issued on Saturday show-cause notice to the police officer, investigating an alleged hate speech case of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain, over his failure to submit the final charge-sheet against two detained suspects.

Two leaders of the pro-Altaf group of the MQM, Prof Hasan Zafar Arif and Amjadullah Khan, have been jailed for their alleged role in facilitating the speech of their party chief in which he is said to have intended to provoke public feelings, criticising the military establishment and asking his workers to extort money from businessmen.

The ATC-I judge expressed displeasure over IO Inspector Zulqarnain's performance and observed that the suspects were languishing in jail for one month.

In the interim charge-sheet lodged with the court last month, the police had shown Altaf and other leaders of the party, including Farooq Sattar, who has dissociated with the founder and formed a faction under the name of MQM-Pakistan, as absconders.

The judge issued non-bailable warrants of arrest against Altaf, Farooq, Khushbakhat Shujaat, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi and others, and directed the IO to present them on the next hearing of the case on February 11. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, MPAs Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Rauf Siddiqui and Saathi Ishaq are on bail in the same case.

Meanwhile, the detained leaders moved applications seeking bail and better facilities inside jail. The court reserved its order on the application and deferred the bail application matter till the next hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2017.

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