4 men arrested in Multan over hate speech, defamation of government

Published February 14, 2019
Videos clips of the hate speech delivered at a mosque were uploaded to Facebook by two of the suspects. — AFP/File
Videos clips of the hate speech delivered at a mosque were uploaded to Facebook by two of the suspects. — AFP/File

Four people were arrested in Multan on Thursday for their involvement in delivering hate speech of a sectarian nature and defaming members of the government, police said.

The action was taken over a speech delivered by one of the apprehended suspects at a mosque in Multan's Ali Town on December 28, 2018.

In the said speech, made through a loudspeaker, the primary suspect allegedly incited the audience's religious emotions by issuing statements of a sectarian nature and provoked them against the Government of Pakistan and incumbent rulers, according to the First Information Report (FIR) of the incident.

The FIR has been registered on the complaint of a police official against six named and 40-45 unidentified people. Four out of the six named persons have been arrested.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the nominated persons were spreading "sectarianism and bigotry" along with the main accused and raising slogans against the government.

Two of the suspects recorded videos of the alleged hate speech through their mobile phones and later uploaded them onto Facebook and other social media.

The case against the nominated suspects has been registered under Sections 500 (defamation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 109 (abetment with an accused) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 14 and 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order, and 3/6 of the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance, 2015.

The arrests come a day after Information Minis­ter Fawad Chaudhry announced that a crackdown was expected soon against extremism on social media, even as rights activists expressed scepticism about the move.

“In the next few weeks we will launch a crackdown,” the minister told an event. “I am making it clear that the state will not allow extremists to dictate their narrative by use of force.”

Opinion

Royal taxidermy
16 Sep 2021

Royal taxidermy

The king’s death was hastened so it could be announced in the morning papers.
A great leap backward
Updated 15 Sep 2021

A great leap backward

Courses appear to reinforce a closed mindset and have nothing to do with the requirements of a modern education system.

Editorial

Aid for Afghans
16 Sep 2021

Aid for Afghans

Humanitarian aid can resume even if the world decides to hold back on formal recognition of the regime for now.
16 Sep 2021

Wheat price

THE government’s decision to raise the wheat release price, or the rate at which provinces issue their grain ...
16 Sep 2021

Keeping the press out

ON Monday, the government yet again displayed its rising contempt for the freedom of press — this time in...
15 Sep 2021

Election trends

THE cantonment board elections are over and their results offer an opportunity for introspection to all major...
15 Sep 2021

Grace marks

THE decision to promote all students awaiting the results of their board exams by awarding grace marks is likely to...