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

Israeli flashpoint
Updated 12 May 2021

Israeli flashpoint

There are persistent reports from the US suggesting that the mood over unquestioning backing for Israel is shifting.
Blaming envoys for the mess
Updated 12 May 2021

Blaming envoys for the mess

The prime minister appeared to be using his container approach in the realm of foreign policy.
No entry, no Eid
12 May 2021

No entry, no Eid

On this Eid, amid this mess, many chairs at muted celebratory meals will remain empty.
Election night confusion
Updated 11 May 2021

Election night confusion

Poll manipulation in Pakistan occurs in the run-up to elections and on election day itself.

Editorial

PM’s Saudi visit
Updated 12 May 2021

PM’s Saudi visit

It is very important that Pakistan take no step, or agree to any demand, that can have an adverse effect on national sovereignty.
12 May 2021

A new intifada?

THE situation in the occupied territories over the past few days has been incendiary, with tensions boiling over as...
Updated 12 May 2021

SOP violations

ON Monday, Sindh Police officials were given a well-deserved slap on the wrist by a judicial magistrate in Karachi...
11 May 2021

Kabul massacre

AFGHANISTAN is a land that has seen plenty of massacres during decades of unrest. However, despite this almost...
Divisive move
Updated 11 May 2021

Divisive move

The whole point of these reforms is to ensure that all major political stakeholders are on board, and that there is a consensus.
11 May 2021

Bank loan concerns

THE combined gross non-performing loan portfolio of the country’s banks and DFIs increased marginally by 2.6pc or...