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Lal Masjid protest: FIR registered against Maulana Aziz

Updated Dec 22, 2014 01:20pm
Police positioned outside Lal Masjid - @gabeen6969/Twitter
Police positioned outside Lal Masjid - @gabeen6969/Twitter

ISLAMABAD: A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against Lal Masjid’s chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz at Aabpara Police Station upon unremitting pressure exerted from protesting civil society on Friday night.

The non-bailable FIR was registered under section 506 (2).

  – A copy of the FIR by Irfan Haider
– A copy of the FIR by Irfan Haider

The candlelight vigil and protest was organised in response to a statement by Maulana Abdul Aziz in which he refused to condemn the massacre of students and teachers in a terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar.

A huge contingent of police personnel has been deployed outside the capital's Lal Masjid to deal with any untoward situation after another call of protest by members of civil society. Later, protesters announced that they would be rallying at Melody Chowk instead.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati has also joined demonstrators outside Aabpara Police Station in Islamabad, demanding to register an FIR against Lal Masjid's chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Speaking at a rally held in solidarity with victims of the Peshawar attack in Karachi, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain also demanded arrest of Maulana Abdul Aziz, the Lal Masjid's chief cleric, besides demanding closure of Jamia Hafsa.

The demonstrators have now reached Aabpara Police Station to register a FIR against Lal Masjid administration.

Sources told Dawn that seven civil society members, including a woman, were arrested by police today. Protesters and supporters took to social media and launched the Twitter hashtags #LalMasjidVigil and #ArrestAbdulAziz to express their outrage.

- DawnNews screengrab
- DawnNews screengrab

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Asmatullah Junejo summoned the entire district police in response to an announcement by civil society activists that protests would be held outside the mosque after Friday prayers.

Police have beefed up security outside the Lal Masjid and have set up barricades on both sides of the roads leading to the seminary.

- DawnNews screengrab
- DawnNews screengrab

Earlier on Thursday, a large number of civil society activists, politicians and students arrived at the mosque, chanting slogans against the chief cleric and lighting candles as part of a vigil.

Examine: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

Jibran Nasir, one of the organisers of the protest, told Dawn on Thursday that he was a resident of Karachi and was in Islamabad when he heard of the statement made by Maulana Abdul Aziz and decided to organise the candlelight vigil in response.

Islamabad police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against participants of the protest on the complaint of the mosque management.

Take a look: Citizens arrive at Lal Masjid to ‘reclaim their mosque’