KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Saturday examined a prosecution witness (PW) in cases against Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders for listening to an alleged hate speech of party founder Altaf Hussain.

Senior MQM leaders Dr Farooq Sattar, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Rauf Siddiqui and others have been charged with listening to Mr Hussain’s July 12, 2015 speech in which he had made accusations against officers of security institutions.

On Saturday, the ATC-II judge recorded the statement of a prosecution witness, Khursheed Khattak, the supervisory investigation officer, Quaidabad.

The witness deposed that he had received a complaint by one Mohammad Javed, who stated that he was offended by an alleged speech of the MQM supremo and requested for registration of an FIR against the MQM leaders for listening to the speech and admiring their leader by clapping.

He further deposed that on the basis of the statement of the complainant recorded under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, he lodged the FIR in the present case at the Quaidabad police station.

Later, the defence counsel cross-examined the witness.

The defence counsel asked the witness whether or not he had contacted the complainant to verify the contents of the complaint before registering the FIR. The witness responded in negative.

The complainant Javed failed to appear before the court to testify despite issuance of repeated notices.

The court summoned other witnesses, including the complainant, to record their statements on the next date and fixed the mater for Jan 11. Around 23 identical cases were lodged against the MQM leaders at different police station across the metropolis in 2015.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019

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