Another case registered against Lal Masjid cleric

Updated April 19, 2020

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There is a restriction on congregation in mosques but Maulana Abdul Aziz led Friday prayers at Lal Masjid.  ─ AFP/File
There is a restriction on congregation in mosques but Maulana Abdul Aziz led Friday prayers at Lal Masjid. ─ AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Another case was registered against Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid for violating the ban on Friday congregations imposed as a part of measures to check the spread of Covid-19.

This is the third case as two more cases were registered against him during the last three weeks, said the police. For three consecutive weeks, he has violated the restriction on Friday congregations.

One of his companions was also booked for displaying arms which is also banned in the capital. However, no one has so far been arrested in connection with the three cases.

A police officer told Dawn that the new case was registered under section 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the PPC along with the arm ordinance.

There is a restriction on congregation in mosques but the cleric led Friday prayers at Lal Masjid.

The maulana and his companions were asked to stop people from violating the restriction but they ignored, the officer said, adding about 200 to 300 people gathered in the mosque.

In reply to a question, the officer said any move to arrest Maulana Aziz or his companions would lead to a law and order situation.

An officer of the capital administration added that a few ulema were approached to negotiate with the Lal Masjid cleric and convince him to follow the government order.

He said a committee of ulema, which had earlier mediated between the administration and the cleric some weeks ago after he got control of the mosque, was again assisting the administration to get the restriction implemented.

On April 3, a case was registered at the Aabpara police station against Maulana Aziz and six other people on charges of PPC 505 (b) (with intent to cause or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquility) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

On April 17, the second case under same sections of the PPC was registered against them.

Officials of the capital administration and police said restriction on the Friday congregations was observed in the city largely. Large gatherings (over 150) were observed at 15pc of the mosques.

Likewise, gathering of 100 to 150 was seen in 20pc mosques while 50 to 100 gathered in 35pc of the mosques.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2020