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Participants of Friday rally booked

October 07, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 6: The Aabpara police on Saturday evening booked leaders of the religious parties and groupings who attended the Friday rally organised by the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba (SSP) organisation working under the banner of Ahli-Sunnat Wal Jamaat.

The Shia Ulema Council (SUC) in its complaint to the Aabpara police alleged that the participants of the rally had hurt the feelings of the community by chanting slogans against it. But the police registered the case against the organisers of the rally and the religious leaders for violating Section 144 and the amplifier act.

The leaders of SUC came to the Aabpara police station on Friday evening to get the case registered under section PPC 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). The police, however, sought time to consult their seniors and get legal opinion about the matter.

In the application moved by Ashfaq Waheedi and Kazim Shah and others, it was alleged that during the conference the participants had chanted slogans against the Shia community. They also produced an audio recording of the conference as an evidence. The complainants remained in the police station till early Saturday to get the case registered.

However, a police officer said as the death anniversary of a Shia leader Aun Mohammad Rizvi was scheduled to be held at an imambargah in G-6/2, police feared that the registration of the case might provoke the accused to create law and order situation.

The police sought the recording of the conference from TV channels and also asked its intelligence wing to verify the allegation of the complainants. “But after receiving direction from above, the case was registered,” said the police officer, adding the allegation by the complainants was yet to be confirmed.

One of the SUC leaders, Ashfaq Waheede told Dawn that the gathering was organised by the banned ASWJ without taking permission and attended by proscribed leaders. “The banned outfit and leaders insulted the Shia community in connivance with the city police and administration who allowed them to hold the gathering without permission,” he added.

He said during the conference, religious sentiments of the Shia community were hurt and the matter was brought in the knowledge of the city police and administration who promised legal action.

On Sunday night, the SUC staged a protest sit-in at Aabpara Chowk demanding that the case should be registered under section 295-A. One of the complainants, Ashfaq Waheedi, told Dawn at about 10:15pm that they were holding talks with the police officials and until the case was registered under section 295-A, they would continue their protest. — Munawer Azeem