Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's (JUI-F) leader Mufti Kifayatullah was taken into custody for 30 days under Section 3 (power to arrest and detain suspected persons) of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and shifted to Haripur jail, sources in police confirmed to DawnNewsTV on Sunday.
Sources said that Mufti Kifayatullah was taken into custody in early hours from Islamabad's E-11 area by Mansera police with the help of Islamabad police after Mansera deputy commissioner issued his arrest orders.
Earlier in the day, conflicting reports emerged regarding the arrest of Kifayatullah. Ameer of JUI-F Islamabad Abdul Majeed Hazarvi told DawnNewsTV that Kifayatullah was arrested on Sunday morning.
The spokesperson for JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also confirmed the arrest and said that Kifayatullah had been arrested under Section 3 (power to arrest and detain suspected persons) of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
According to Hazarvi, Kifayatullah was arrested at 4am near Masjid Tooba in Islamabad's E-11 area. He had been staying at a friend's apartment.
He added that the JUI-F leader has been shifted to Haripur Jail.
Islamabad Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Waqaruddin Syed, however, strongly denied reports of Kifayathullah's arrest. In a statement shared by the Islamabad police spokesperson, he said that the Islamabad police had neither conducted any raid nor made any arrest.
An order issued on Saturday under Section 3(1) of the West Pakistan MPO, by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner Mansehra, said that the JUI-F leader was found involved in "chanda collection, holding corner meetings and inciting the public for taking part in the Azadi March arranged by JUI-F".
"The activities of Mufti Kifayatullah are posing [a] grave threat to public safety which may create disturbance of public tranquillity, danger to human life, health and safety.
"Due to this act, serious sectarian disharmony is prevailing in the district. The situation is snowballing into serious law and order situation [...]," the order stated, adding that the DPO Mansehra had requested that warrants be issued for Kifayathullah under Section 3(1) of the MPO.
"The said person may be detained and confined in Central Jail, Haripur for a period of 30 days from the date of arrest," the order added.
The grounds of detention were listed as:
- He is acting in a manner prejudicial to public order, safety and tranquillity
- He has posed a constant threat to the law and order which may disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the district
- He is indulging in activities to defuse the writ of the government thus posing threat to the public peace/law and order in the district, creating hatred in the masses
The alleged arrest comes just days before the party's Azadi March scheduled for October 31.
The "militant wing" of JUI-F has already been banned, as a per a notification issued by the interior ministry.
On Saturday, it was reported that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had declared JUI-F leader, ex-minister and former senator Hafiz Hamdullah an alien, alleging that he had 'fraudulently obtained' his computerised national identity card (CNIC) that had now been cancelled.
Last week, another JUI-F leader, former federal minister Akram Khan Durrani filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking pre-arrest bail in multiple inquiries initiated against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).