Banned outfit's leader booked for fanning sectarianism at Islamabad rally

Published September 19, 2020
A view of the Azmat-i-Sahaba march held in Islamabad on Thursday. — Photo courtesy: Twitter
A view of the Azmat-i-Sahaba march held in Islamabad on Thursday. — Photo courtesy: Twitter

Islamabad police registered a first information report (FIR) against a central leader of the proscribed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) for inciting the attendees of a rally in the capital by using sectarian and anti-Shia remarks, it emerged on Saturday.

The remarks were made during the Azmat-i-Sahaba march, which was organised by the Muttahida Sunni Council at Islamabad's Express Chowk on Thursday. The march was attended by 1,900-2,000 participants, according to the FIR, which was registered on the complaint of Islamabad city magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Chandio.

According to the FIR registered at Kohsar police station, a copy of which is available with Dawn, ASWJ leader Masoodur Rehman Usmani has been booked under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR stated that by using inappropriate language, Usmani had fanned sectarianism among the public and had incited them.

Editorial: It is incumbent upon the state and ulema to play their roles to prevent sectarian hatred from spreading

The registration of the FIR was first reported by Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat, who in a tweet on Friday said a speaker at the rally was booked for "inciting violence and sectarian hatred".

Shafqaat said a ban was also being imposed on the ASWJ leader for "speaking again in public in the territorial limits of Islamabad".

The Islamabad DC had earlier told Dawn that the group had been given a no-objection certificate (NOC) to stage the event in response to their request, along with instructions to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Police and administration officials had said at the time that an agreement was made between the city administration and the Muttahida Sunni Council under which participants would follow SOPs for marches and processions.

Opinion

Editorial

No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...
Shared goals
Updated 16 Aug, 2022

Shared goals

It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.
Making amends?
16 Aug, 2022

Making amends?

WHERE relations with the US are concerned, there has been a distinct shift in Imran Khan’s tone. While the PTI...
Hazardous celebration
16 Aug, 2022

Hazardous celebration

CAN celebratory actions that often result in death or lifelong injuries really be described as such? Be it Eid, New...