KARACHI: As many as 35 prayer leaders and trustees of mosques were booked for violating the Sindh government's ban on congregational prayers, which was imposed as part of a string of measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
Cases have been registered against the arrested individuals under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with disobedience to orders duly promulgated by a public servant.
The cases have been filed at the police stations in Yousuf Plaza, Samanabad, Azizabad, Noor Jehan, Gulbahar, Nazimabad, Rizvia Society, New Karachi industrial area, Surjani Town, SITE A, SITE B, Shershah, Pakistan Bazar, Mominabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Kharadar and several other localities.
Out on bail
On Saturday, local courts granted bail to several of those arrested.
Kharadar police presented three prayer leaders, Maulana Ikram, Maulana Mubeen and Maulana Ahmed, at the city court, where the court released them against a surety bond of Rs5,000 each.
Meanwhile, the Malir judicial magistrate approved the bail of Imam Mohammad Manzoor against a surety bond of Rs6,000.
Separately, six prayer leaders presented in court by the Shah Latif police also received bail, while the East judicial magistrate granted bail to Imam Syed Afzal Chishti against a surety bond of Rs10,000.
The Sindh government has banned the congregational prayers in mosques till April 5. Despite the ban, though, a number of mosques held Friday prayers as usual, with scores of people flocking to them, although the routes leading to most major mosques were blocked and many mosques had their doors locked.
While law enforcement personnel implored the aggrieved crowds not to enter the mosques, these appeals did little to appease the worshipers.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2020.