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Clerics acquitted in kidnapping case

Published Jan 28, 2013 09:14pm


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Maulana Abdul Aziz. — File photo/AP

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28: A local court on Monday acquitted Lal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz along with his spouse and two other clerics in the kidnapping case of four policemen.

On January 10, Senior Civil Judge Sheikh Sohail had framed charges against Maulana Aziz, his wife Majida alias Umme Hassan, Maulana Afzal and Maulana Abdul Basir for kidnapping the police officials on May 18, 2007.

They were also accused of obstructing the policemen from performing their duty and using the loudspeaker for inciting people against the government.

The clerics, however, pleaded that they had neither kidnapped the police officials nor committed any other illegal act.

It may be noted that it is a routine practice under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that statements of witnesses are recorded and they are cross-examined after the indictment of an accused.

However, in the kidnapping case of the police officials, in which Maulana Aziz and his associates were booked, the court had recorded the statements of the witnesses even before framing the charges against the accused persons.

Later, in order to complete the CrPC requirement, the court offered the prosecution — the Islamabad police — to produce witnesses and reserved judgment on Jan 12. However, no witness appeared before the court.

On Monday, the judge announced the short order acquitting all the four accused persons of the charges.

According to the FIR registered by the Aabpara police on May 18, 2007, students of Jamia Faridia and Jamia Hafsa, the two seminaries affiliated with Lal Masjid, kidnapped the policemen at the behest of Maulana Aziz and his associates.

It said the seminary students while attacking the policemen were chanting slogans against the government and demanding the release of Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official and a close friend of Maulana Aziz and his brother Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who was at that time in the custody of law enforcement agencies.

The FIR also alleged that in May 2007 during a Friday sermon Maulana Aziz had warned of suicide attacks if the government launched an operation against Jamia Hafsa.

During the hearing of the case, Qari Wajihulllah, the counsel for Maulana Aziz, maintained that the police had framed his client. He claimed that Maulana Aziz was not present at the place from where the policemen had been kidnapped.

According to him, in order to please the then military dictator Pervez Musharraf, the police had fabricated 27 ‘bogus’ cases against the Lal Masjid cleric.

He pointed out that the police had produced eight witnesses in the court but none of them deposed against the clerics of Lal Masjid.

Qari Wajihullah told Dawn that Maulana Aziz had been acquitted in all but one case. The only pending case against the cleric is related to raids by the seminary students on CD shops at F-7, F-6 and Aabpara market. The case was registered a few days before the Lal Masjid operation in 2007, he added.

It may be mentioned that the Islamabad administration in its reply submitted to the Lal Masjid commission had mentioned a series of cases registered against the cleric.

According to the administration, Maulana Aziz on February 25, 2007, was booked in the abduction case of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the special branch. On March 27 the same year, he was nominated for abducting a woman and her daughter and on March 28, a case was registered against the cleric and others for kidnapping two police officials and seizing their official vehicles.

On March 28, a case was registered against him for launching an FM radio without obtaining permission from the government. On April 14, the cleric was booked in the CD shops burning case. On May 18, he was booked for kidnapping the four police officials and on May 21 for abducting three other policemen. 0n July 3, the Lal Masjid management snatched weapons from the police.


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Comments (25) Closed

excalibur Jan 29, 2013 12:37pm
Pity the judiciary pity the laws that let criminals go scot free so easily. Pakistan is doomed to self destruct
excalibur Jan 29, 2013 12:36pm
the misplaced " bravery' of the clerics was amply proved when Maulana Aziz tried to escape in a Burqa pls dont commercialise relligion
Khurram Jan 29, 2013 10:43am
How can people forget the masked gunmen of lal masjid.... They kidnapped not only those 4 policemen, but the the whole nuber of children which they didnt let free at that time.
Misbahjon Jan 29, 2013 07:20am
Look at him, looks like a goat
ummemuhammed Jan 29, 2013 07:44am
Asalamo Alykum, the 'mother and daughter' were Aunty Shamim and her daughter, owners of a prostitution den in G-6, opposite Lal Masjid. Please do not use an innocent tone for them. The dwellers of G-6 were sick of them and taunted the clerics for just giving sermons and not doing anything practical...Of course as the Muslim history often boasts of cowardice and treachery, the same neighborhood did not stand by the clerics on a common cause when the government cracked down on them. Wsalam.
faisal Jan 29, 2013 07:51am
Only in Pakistan, your can be apprehended in broad day light and then get away with murder. No wonder murdering, killing hordes are roaming the streets with out any fear of law.
AHA Jan 29, 2013 12:09pm
Still 'peaceful'???
Khan Jan 29, 2013 08:26am
Nothing but misuse of our peaceful religion, unfortunately by the religious stalwarts. Very strange, around 100 people died and Mulana is not responsible for anything???....... what a justice to those who died and the nation that suffered thenceforth. 'A society can live with all evils less injustice' - Hazrat Ali.
Gerry D'Cunha Jan 29, 2013 08:41am
get-away with all crimes and then shout 'pakistan zindabad'
Arif Khan Jan 29, 2013 01:36pm
I believe the 150 years old Law of evidence practiced in Pakistan is the real culprit where most get away after commiting henious crimes and innocent get punsihed, better change it.
A Rehman Jan 29, 2013 03:19pm
Dear Sister, I hope you are well aware that the offences you just stated are liable to be tried under Hadd by the Islamic Law. And a Hadd in this case does not get materialized unless 4 adult and pious Muslims stand as legitimate witnesses. So then how can Molana Sahib on his own take the Law of Country into his own hands and send his gladiators to arrest the woman and her daughter alongwith a minor child? Judges in this imperfect land usually try to save their skins by giving a decision in order no to antagonize the religious stalwarts, lest a fatwa is given to chop off their heads in the name of Islam.
HNY2013 Jan 29, 2013 03:38pm
And people cry out and take out marches to protest drone attacks! Guess killing is the fav pastime of the country now.
abbas Jan 29, 2013 04:24pm
but i love to see this Maulana in Burqa with Hijab......
Karachi Wala Jan 29, 2013 04:25pm
WaAlaikumAs-slam, Would you be kind enough to quote something from Quran and Sunnah, where an individual or a group is allowed to take law of the land into their own hands.?
What Justice Jan 29, 2013 05:28pm
Wasn't he the one who got caught wearing a burqa trying to run from the mosque?
ANEES Jan 29, 2013 06:25pm
You need to go to your Eye Specialist immediately.
kunjan Jan 29, 2013 06:31pm
clerics r true problems in world.
kunjan Jan 29, 2013 06:33pm
clerics were violent. only police have right to punish or jail wrong people. who are clerics??
Ejaz ali Jan 29, 2013 10:09pm
My dear no body is larger than constitution, human rights and rit of the state. The same neighbourhood, Maulana Sahib and we as a society have failed to ensure the well being of those poor women. Had the zakat or social security setup had been working they would have never opted for that ugly option. Trust me given a choice you won't opt for that. question is was the Forcefull shut down of brothel house or putting a poor shopkeeper out of business by burning the CD shop was the real answer or counselling through Islamic and moral teachings to ever disenchanted and violent prone younger gen through the Juma Namaz sermons (by the way being used for hate mongering and widening the divide) along with sincere positive concrete measures could have prevented the recurrence.
Iftikhar Husain Jan 29, 2013 11:53am
This is a white wash for a case which was seen to be proved the real fight between the cleric brigade and the security forces cannot be forgotten.
Jamal Jan 29, 2013 09:41am
Every witness might be afraid for his life in case of his turning in as witness to crimes committed by or on the behest of Lal Masjid Cleric.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 06:19am
you don't know that ? I thought its peaceful. Can not you see the picture that a man is standing with a gun behind the Maulana ? He is so peaceful.
ummemuhammed Jan 30, 2013 04:56am
Yes, that is true. It was really unwise of him to come out for negotiations in this manner. He should have seen through the 'invitation' by the third party. But, don't people know that the government officials were not willing to go inside for negotiations because they felt 'threatened'... The maliciousness of the government and media, in this case, can be seen from the fact that the interview of Maulana Abdul Aziz broadcasted the next day, in a burqa, was by a person who was NOT Maulana. Dig up that video and compare it with this picture...they are different people... I hope Allah Almighty taught the person responsible for this episode the same humiliating lesson which He taught PML-Q only seven months down the line in the 2008 elections. A complete wipe-out after arrogant and boastful statements! As far as bravery is concerned, what do you call a person whose father, mother, brother and son die in the cause? The cause of the father was the same... Sorry for the comment but it is unto each person to speak the truth which they know. Bracing myself for lots of thumbs-down :)
ummemuhammed Jan 30, 2013 04:37am
Yes, angle of photography changes everything...try getting your profile by a malicious photographer...
PakAm Jan 29, 2013 10:26pm
The guy with gun is protecting a man who belongs to a peaceful religion.