CHAKWAL: Chakwal police have arrested five people, including a 15-year-old boy, over allegations of insulting caliphs and disturbing law and order situation in the district, police sources said on Saturday.

The suspects have been booked for the content they allegedly shared on their Facebook accounts.

Police invoked the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)’s Section 153-A which deals with promoting enmity between different groups and Section 298-A which deals with the offence of using derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages as well as Section 16 of The Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO) which deals with dissemination of rumours or anything spoken, written or published which is likely to cause fear or alarm in the general public.

The first case was registered at the Neelah police station in which a taxi driver was booked under Section 153-A of the PPC and Section 16 of the MPO as posts allegedly shared by him on his Facebook account were found derogatory about Hazrat Umar.

The second case was also registered at the same police station in which an employee of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company was booked under Sections 298-A and 153-A of the PPC and 16 of the MPO. He was also accused of posting and sharing blasphemous content about Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Usman.

Two other cases were registered at the Dhudial Police Station in which two persons, including a teenager, were booked on similar charges while police referred the fifth case to the Counter Terrorism Department as police termed the posts of the fifth accused “more obnoxious”.

The five suspects were arrested while the teenager, who is waiting for his 10th grade result, was later released on bail.

To defuse the tension, the district administration convened a meeting of the District Peace Committee in which leaders of all sects were taken on board. “Due to this issue a wave of anger was rising among the general public,” Chakwal Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Abdul Sattar Esani told Dawn. “In the meeting of the District Peace Committee prominent personalities of all sects condemned these acts terming them the handiwork of individual rogue elements and appreciated the response/action of police” the DC said.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2020

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