Attack on media houses: 24 more MQM activists remanded in police custody
KARACHI: While extending the physical remand of three leaders and 11 workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts also remanded on Thursday over 20 newly arrested activists in police custody in a case pertaining to attack on media houses.
After the end of their three-day physical remand, police reproduced MQM leaders Kanwar Naveed Jameel, Qamar Mansoor and Shahid Pasha with 11 party activists and sought extension in their custody.
Moreover, the investigating officer also brought 23 newly arrested suspects, including UC chairman Asif Siddiqui, before court and submitted that another suspect arrested on Wednesday was under treatment at a hospital and asked the court for their remand for questioning.
The administrative judge allowed one-day extension in the physical remand of the previously detained suspects and also handed over the other 24 others to police for questioning till Aug 26.
They were booked in one of the two cases registered at the Artillery Madian police station under multiple charges, including sedition and offences against the state.
According to the FIR, after listening to a highly-provocative speech of their London-based chief Altaf Hussain on Aug 22 at the hunger strike camp outside the Karachi Press Club, the activists resorted to a violent protest, ransacking media houses, killing Syed Azan Arif, wounding around seven others, torching a police van and a motorbike, rioting and clashing with police.
The case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 123-A (condemnation of the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty), 124-A (sedition), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage, etc), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 337 (shajjah), 506-B (criminal for intimidation) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Besides 1,500 to 2,000 unidentified men and women, the police also named around a dozen party leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan and Gul Faraz Khattak, as absconders in the remand papers.