KARACHI: Police came up on Saturday with supplementary charge sheets before an antiterrorism court against Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar and party leader Amir Khan in two cases pertaining to listening to the Aug 22 hate speech of the party founder and subsequent attacks on media houses.

Police contended in the investigation reports that both the leaders had submitted misleading statements before the police during interrogations and claimed that they had endorsed a highly provocative speech of party founder Altaf Hussain that provoked the workers to resort to violence and attack media houses.

When the cases came up for hearing before the ATC-II on Saturday, the investigating officer, SSP Adeel Hussain Chandio, submitted supplementary reports in two cases against both the MQM-P leaders.

According to the reports, the police had asked them to respond to some questions after both the leaders joined the investigation on Sept 7. A questionnaire was sent to them since the suspects said that they would reply after consulting with lawyers.

However, the police maintained in investigation reports that the leaders remained unable to give complete and satisfactory answers, adding that the leaders did not disclose the names of the absconders.

Police say leaders submitted misleading statements

In their written statements sent to the police both the leaders said that the party founder’s Aug 22 speech was unacceptable and unbelievable and claimed that they had nothing to do with the administrative affairs of the hunger strike camp.

But, it was maintained in the reports that both the leaders had made misleading statements as according to footage, obtained from a news channel, Amir Khan had also addressed the participants in the hunger strike camp on Aug 22 and endorsed the party founder’s speech and also allegedly assured Mr Hussain that his directives would be followed accordingly.

The supplementary charge sheets said that Dr Sattar, also present at the hunger strike camp, was seen clapping in response to the remakes made by Amir Khan.

It further maintained that the subsequent incidents of violence would not have taken place, if these leaders had not further fanned the highly provocative speech of the party founder.

The police submitted that both the leaders were being charge-sheeted since sufficient evidence was found to link them with the alleged offences.

The police said that they had also filed closed-circuit television camera footage and some other fresh evidence along with the supplementary reports in court.

After admitting the supplementary investigation reports, the ATC-II judge adjourned the hearing till Nov 25 when the court will provide the copies of supplementary reports and other evidence to the suspects.

Dr Sattar, Amir Khan along with almost the entire leadership of the MQM and dozens of workers have been booked for allegedly facilitating and listening to a highly provocative speech of party founder Altaf Hussain on Aug 22 last year at a hunger strike camp outside the Karachi Press Club, which triggered a violent protest, arson attacks and ransacking of media houses.

Nine suspects, including the party founder along with around 1,450 unknown persons, were shown as absconders in the supplementary charge sheets.

Initially, the police had arrested party leaders Kanwar Naveed, Qamar Mansoor, Shahid Pasha, Gul Fraz Khattak and over 50 party workers after registering two cases under multiple charges, including sedition and offences against the state at the Artillery Maidan police station related to the Aug 22 incidents.

Later, they were released on bail.

Mr Hussain has already been declared a proclaimed offender in both cases and the court has also directed the interior ministry to approach Interpol for the issuance of a red warrant against him.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2017

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