185 face trial for riots over hate film
KARACHI: Courts in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore granted remand of at least 185 people on Saturday in cases pertaining to riots and arson attacks that took place during the protests against the anti-Islam film made in the United States.
Twenty-three people lost their lives in Karachi and Peshawar while over 200 were injured on Friday across the country as the government-designated “day of love for Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)” saw protests and demonstrations turn anarchic.
Courts in Rawalpindi sent 77 suspects to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand while in Karachi, at least 72 suspects were remanded in police custody by an anti-terrorism court and a judicial magistrate on charges of torching cinemas, banks, police vans, attacking policemen and destroying public as well as private properties.
Five cinema houses, three police vans, three banks and countless shops were set on fire and looted during the mayhem that overtook Karachi two days ago.
In Lahore, an anti-terror court sent 36 arrested protesters to jail on judicial remand. They faced charges of terrorism, ransacking/torching public and private property, attempted murder and attack on police. Police had registered a case against 6,036 protesters.
Police in Faisalabad district registered two cases against more than 400 people, 200 of them belonging to the outlawed Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, on charges of firing live rounds into the air and pelting police with stones.
About 60 people were injured in the violence, with one of them stated to fighting for his life in a hospital.
AFP adds: Meanwhile, fresh demonstrations were held by thousands of activists across Pakistan on Saturday against the film.
Protesters took to the streets in various cities, but there was no repeat of Friday’s widespread violence. More than 5,000 protesters marched towards the parliament in Islamabad, including hundreds of women, chanting “We love our Holy Prophet” and “Punishment for those who humiliated our Prophet”.
Some 1,500 people from the hardline Islamist Jamaatud Dawa and Sunni religious groups rallied in front of the US consulate in Lahore, chanting “The US deserves only one remedy – jihad, jihad”.
Hundreds gathered in Quetta, calling for the makers of the film to be killed while scores in Peshawar, where six people died in Friday’s protests, chanted anti-US slogans. Religious groups rallied in Karachi after the funerals of demonstrators who were killed on Friday. Seventeen people were killed in the city during the previous day’s protests.
Mukhtiar Khan, a senior doctor at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, said that one more person died from his wounds in hospital.