QUETTA: Five cases were registered against separatist Baloch leaders Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and Banuk Karima Baloch for allegedly supporting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statements on Balochistan, police said.
The cases were registered on the complaints of petitioners Munir Ahmed, Maulana Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Hussain, Ghulam Yaseen Jatak and Muhammad Rahim at five police stations in Balochistan's Khuzdar area.
The Baloch leaders were booked under sections 120, 121, 123 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The sections refer to "concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment", "waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan", "concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war", and "assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty".
Acting District Police Officer Khuzdar Muhammad Ashraf Jatak said the applicants claimed Bugti, Marri and Baloch had 'supported' Modi's Aug 15 speech.
The Indian premier in a speech on India's independence day ─ in what some analysts believe is a move to divert attention away from the Kashmir issue ─ said that the people of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir 'thanked him a lot in the past few days'.
Petitioner Munir Ahmed also alleged that the Baloch leaders had asked the Indian premier to commit aggression against Pakistan.
Modi's controversial statement sparked protests across Balochistan, with large numbers of tribesmen taking to the streets in protest in Dera Bugti, Khuzdar, Quetta, Chaman and other parts of the province.
As protests against Modi were underway, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri in a speech last week slammed the Indian premier's statements, alleging that the Indian government "fully supports the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan".
Zehri's speech came days after a video showing exiled Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti appreciating 'support' given to the Baloch people by the Indian premier began circulating on social media.
He also alleged that the Indian government "is deeply involved in sponsoring elements like Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri, Zamran Marri and Allah Nazar".
He accused Bugti of "getting funds from Indians", alleging "that's why he supported Modi's statement".