100 more militants held in continued crackdown: Detainees to be tried in ATCs
* Dozens of clerics in Karachi held for violating Loudspeaker Act
* Chiniot PML leader Maulana Malik Khalil Ahmad among arrested
By Mubasher Bukhari and Shahnawaz Khan
LAHORE: The detained members of 14 banned religious and militant organisations will be tried under Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, Punjab Home Secretary Hasan Waseem Afzal told Daily Times. He said that the department had issued a notification in this regard on Friday.
The banned organisations include Tehrik-e-Islami (former Tehrik-e-Jafferia), Millat Islamia (Sipah-e-Sahaba), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Ansar, Sipah-e-Muhammad, Hizb-ul-Tehrir al Wilayah Islamia, Shariat-e-Muhammad, Harkat-ul-Mujihdeen and Tehrik-al-Furqan.
Afzal said that the members of the 14 banned outfits and religious groups would be tried in anti-terrorism courts. “The government is committed to implementing an anti-terrorism and anti-sectarianism policy. Nobody will be spared.”
Meanwhile, security agencies continued to crack down on the militants and activists of banned religious organisations on Friday. But only five men were arrested from all over Punjab. A local Sipah-e-Sahaba leader from Khushab and a man hawking banned Al Rasheed Trust’s weekly publication Zarbe-e-Momin were amongst the detainees. The hawker, Riaz, was arrested from Anarkali where he was selling the publication. The police did not confirm his arrest.
The home secretary said that 105 people had been arrested till Friday evening in the crackdown. On Thursday, he told the media that around 100 people were arrested. About 90 detainees were sent to jail for 90 days under Section 188 and 3 MPO.
Shahzad Mailk reports from Islamabad: Islamabad Capital Police registered a case against local religious leaders Dr Abdur Rashid Ghazi, Maulana Abdul Aziz and Qari Sohail Abbasi under Section 6/7 of Anti Terrorism Act. Aabpara Police Station registered a first information report against the religious leaders because protesters burned a traffic police sergeant’s motorbike and stoned a police checkpoint and nearby vehicles, during a protest led by them. The gathering was protesting against the government’s recent raids on seminaries and the arrest of the various religious leaders.
Staff Report adds from Karachi: Dozens of imams were arrested for violating the Loudspeaker Act during Friday sermons here. Police said imams in Kharadar, Mithadar, Gulistan -e-Jauhar, North Nazimabad, Mubina Town, Saeedabad and other areas had been arrested for violating the Act. Cases were registered against Allama Kokab Noorani Okarvi (Masjid Gulzar-e-Habib) and Maulana Abdul Mannan (Jamia Masjid Madina), but they were not arrested. Cases were registered against Maulvi Hamadullah (Madina Masjid), Maulana Khizer Muhammad (Akhund Masjid), Hazrat Bilal Shah (Allahwali Masjid), Qari Hafiz Nazir Ahmed Qadri (Jama Masjid Bilal), Saeed Ahmed (Masjid Hasni Sabri Daud Goth), Maulvi Sher Ahmed (Masjid Taif), Maulana Shujauddin (Jamia Masjid Muslim) and Muhammad Aslam (Makki Masjid) and they were arrested.
Agencies add: Pakistani security forces arrested nearly 100 more suspected militants overnight, following Musharraf’s promise to the nation and the international community that he would tighten the leash on Islamic schools to stamp out militancy and hate-propaganda. Within hours of a televised address to the nation on Thursday, security forces raided Islamic schools or seminaries. “Approximately 90 more suspected militants have been arrested in overnight raids across the country, and the number of people in ‘preventive detention’ is more than 300 now,” said an Interior Ministry official monitoring the campaign.
Raids targeted shops selling “hate material”, and both police and intelligence agencies were instructed to arrest anyone inciting violence during sermons at Friday prayers, the official said. Nine of the activists were arrested by the Lahore and Faisalabad police for possessing objectionable literature, audiocassettes and CDs. According to a Punjab Police spokesman, the Lahore police arrested three activists and registered three cases at the Anarkali, Shadman and Ichhra police stations.
Maulana Malik Khaleel Chinoiti, the local president of PML’s religious section and the son of famous religious scholar Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Chinioti, Maulana Illyas Chinoiti, were also arrested. The arrests of the two and the government’s action against its own party officials caused quite a stir.