The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police on Monday arrested another Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) leader Maulana Zaqeem from the premises of an anti-terrorism court in Kohat in the Karak temple attack case after his bail before arrest plea was turned down.
Maulana Zaqeem is considered to be one of the masterminds of the Karak temple attack. In order to evade arrest from authorities, he had gone into hiding and also applied for a bail before arrest.
Some 400 people including Maulana Zaqeem have been booked under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The police have so far arrested 112 accused persons nominated in the first information report.
According to sources, Maulana Zaqeem had organised a rally in Terri village in which Maulana Sharif and others also participated. Maulana Sharif’s emotional speeches, in which he termed the renovation of the Hindu temple against religion, instigated the participants to vandalise the temple.
He was also involved in the 1997 attack at the same temple in which the building was reduced to ashes.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2021.
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