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Malik Ishaq’s bail plea rejected

September 01, 2012

In this photo taken on July 15, 2011, Malik Ishaq can be seen in Rahim Yar Khan. – Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD: A judge in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday rejected a request for bail made by Malik Ishaq, the founder of the banned Laskhar-e-Jangvi group, a senior police official Ijaz Shafi said.

Ishaq has been accused of making speeches inciting sectarian hatred against Shias.

Earlier this week, police had detained Ishaq, also linked to the defunct Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, at Lahore airport on his return from Saudi Arabia. He appeared in court on Friday in front of a judicial magistrate amid tight security and was sent to the city’s Kot Lakhpat jail for a 14-day-long judicial remand.

The groups, Laskhar-e-Jangvi and the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, have been blamed for scores of attacks on Shias in Balochistan and elsewhere in the country.

Ishaq has been implicated in dozens of cases and was also accused of masterminding a 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, which wounded seven players and an assistant coach and killed eight Pakistanis. The attacks saw Pakistan stripped of its right to co-host last year's cricket World Cup.

He was released on bail in July last year after serving a jail term of nearly 14 years.

Since his release he had been frequently put under house arrest as officials say his sermons raised sectarian tensions.