‘Spreading hatred’: Blasphemy case registered against ASWJ leaders

They face charges of spreading hatred through speeches


Our Correspondent October 20, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The capital police have registered a blasphemy case against the leadership of the Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) for allegedly making hate speeches at a conference.

The Aabpara police have registered an FIR under section 295-A (blasphemy) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against the ASWJ leadership for “spreading sectarian hatred” during their speeches at a conference held on the death anniversary of Maulana Azam Tariq on Friday.

The police have nominated a total of 14 activists in the FIR, alleging that the speakers misused loudspeakers made inflammatory speeches spreading hatred during the conference.

The ASWJ president, Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, Secretary-General Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and others have been nominated in the FIR.

Owing to the sensitivity of the matter, it remained unclear for several hours if the case was actually registered against ASWJ leadership as the police kept denying and the organisation’s leadership and activists were unsure if a case has been registered against them.

A senior police officer, requesting not to be named, however, confirmed that the case has been registered against the religious party leadership under Section 295-A and Sections 3 and 4 of the Amplifier and Loudspeaker Act.

The high-ranked police official added that the police could have used force and snatched the microphones from the speakers but refrained to avoid any confrontation before Muharram.

“We have avoided confrontation to ensure peace during and before Muharram. Our mandate is to take legal action, which we will abide by,” the official said.

The ASWJ Punjab chapter secretary information Ghulam Mustafa Baloch, meanwhile, denied the charges, saying neither such a speech took place nor the party leadership tried to hurt sentiments of any person or party through their speeches.

Baloch added that the party would soon hold a press conference to clarify its position after going through the content of the FIR. “It is correct that our leadership commented on the current situation of the country but it doesn’t fall under the blasphemy law.”

Baloch added that while the administration and the police were constantly seeking cooperation to maintain peace in Muharram, they (police) on the other hand registering cases against the party. “We are being approached for maintaining peace but it would be difficult for us to cooperate if things continue in the same manner.”

SHO Khalid Mehmood, however, denied that any such case has been lodged at the Aabpara police station.

Details of Section 195- A

295-A Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs: Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2014.

COMMENTS (2)

Pseudo Liberal | 8 years ago | Reply

The mullahs will beg for abrogation of "blasphemy" laws if we register cases against them for spewing hatred.

Anon | 8 years ago | Reply

No need to worry as nothing is going to happen.....you will be free like the cleric who accused a young girl on the same charges and she has to escape to Canada....while Asia Biwi still languishing in Jail. Our blasphemy laws are only for Christians, Ahmedis, Hindus, etc....

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