Violence on 1st Muharram: No more than one rally at a time near Quaid’s mazaar, says SHC

Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat filed a petiti­on agains­t the arrest­s at Old Numais­h.


Zeeshan Mujahid December 08, 2011

KARACHI:


The Sindh High Court advised people on Thursday to avoid holding more than one congregation or meeting at a time within the vicinity of the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam.


Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar were hearing a constitutional petition challenging the arrest of hundreds of supporters and workers of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat. The division bench held that if the petitioner or any other people wanted to hold a commemoration or congregation, it was “always desirable to display restraint” and hold the event at a place other than within the vicinity of Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazaar to avoid unrest or an unpleasant situation.

The bench also observed that the law enforcing agencies were duty bound to regulate such events to protect the life and property of the citizens.

Earlier on, Sindh Additional Advocate General Sarwar Khan appeared for the Sindh government and said that the ASWJ held a rally on the first of Muharram without permission. He argued that Muharram events have been regularly held at Old Numaish since the creation of Pakistan and all segments of society were aware and familiar with it.

If at all the petitioner or any other people wanted to hold a rally or any other event, they could have done it at any other place on that day with the permission of the authorities instead of holding one at a place where invariably a law and order situation could have been created, the AAG said.

Maqboolur Rehman, the counsel for the petitioner, submitted that a congregation was organised in memory of the second Caliph but the police intentionally resorted to a crackdown that resulted in the unpleasant incident.

The bench, however, accepted the contention of the AAG and said any other rally or event should be held elsewhere.

“[The] contention of the AAG is correct, that the followers of each Fiqah and faith must respect the sentiments of the other. This is also a teaching of our Holy Prophet (pbuh). It is expected that all persons following any Fiqah must respect the sentiments of each other and will avoid holding any event that may create a law and order situation,” the court noted.

Earlier, the bench perused the comments filed by the SHOs of different police stations of the city who were named in the petition.

The bench was informed about the detention and arrests of a number of men who were illegally carrying weapons. Cases were filed under the Arms ordinance. The bench was also informed that two of them, Samiuddin and Ramzan, arrested by the Nabi Bux police, have been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order rules for 30 days.

The bench adjourned the proceedings while directing the counsel for the petitioner to avail a legal remedy from a competent court of law against all those who are booked or confined in any crime.

The bench also asked the advocate general to call for a report from Kalri police station on the detention of a man named Waheed Khan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2011.

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