Bail of 4 men cancelled for spreading hate material

Suspects had allegedly posted hateful statements against Sikh religious figures


​ Our Correspondent September 13, 2019
PHOTO: Reuters

PESHAWAR: A district and sessions court in Peshawar on Thursday canceled the bail of four men who are accused of spreading religious hatred against Sikh religious figures on social media/

While hearing a plea filed by Baldir Singh, Additional Sessions Judge Abdul Majid warned that no one will be allowed to disrespect any religion.

During Thursday’s hearing in Peshawar, Singh’s lawyer Ameen Rehman argued before the court that the four accused including Hindu Pandit Shewnat Sharma, Suraj Kumar, Ram Parkash, and Kwonath Sharma had disrespected ten religious figures of the Sikh community which had hurt the religious sentiments of the community and incited them.

A lawyer for the defendants told the court that the session’s court is not the relevant forum to hear the case and that it should be referred to a special court.

The court, however, suspended the interim bail granted to the four suspects and directed the police to arrest them from the court’s premises.

The four men had been booked by the Gulfat Hussain police in Peshawar on August 22 for defaming 10 religious figures of the Sikh community.

PHC irked at lack of protection to the couple

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday expressed its resentment over the Bajaur district authority’s refusal to protect a couple from the tribal district who had married of their free will.

This was expressed by a two-member bench of the PHC, comprising Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Naeem Anwar, as it heard a writ petition filed by the couple.

During Thursday’s hearing, petitioner Iftikhar’s lawyer Zuhaib Malik told the court that Iftikhar and a woman had gotten married on July 27, 2012, of their own free will. However, the girl's brother Zahid and Jehanzeb were against the union and have been threatening them ever since.

Even though seven years have passed and the fact that the couple now has four children, they continue to face threats from the woman’s family.

The lawyer further said that despite the court’s direction, the police has yet to take any cogent action against the accused.

Justice Hilali grew angry at learning this, adding that despite the court’s orders, neither the relevant police officer appears in-person nor has a report been tabled in the court.

“It is a strange country, that two people desire to live together, while the society is trying to eliminate them for fulfilling their dreams,” Justice Hilali remarked in astonishment.

The bench warned that if the petitioners are murdered despite court orders, an FIR will be registered against the IG or the DIG. The court issued a summons for the Bajaur DPO for September 17 and adjourned the case.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2019.

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