by ISRAR AHMED & SHAHID RAO

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD - An anti-terrorism court yesterday sent some 440 supporters of Malik Mumtaz Qadri to Adaila Jail on 14-day judicial remand.

The supporters of Qadri had been rounded up when they clashed with law enforcement agencies on March 27 (Sunday) while observing the Chehlum of Qadri and marching towards Islamabad.

Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Number 2 Special Judge Asif Majeed Awan sent the 440 Qadri lovers to judicial remand of 14 days.

The special judge went to Adiala Jail after a public prosecutor filed an application under section 15 of Anti-Terrorism Act (place of sitting). The prosecutor asked the judge to visit the jail as 440 arrested men could not be produced in the court room located near district courts.

Accepting the application, the judge went to the jail where the city police sought 14 days judicial remand of the arrested men. Accepting the plea of police, ATC No 2 Special Judge Asif Majeed Awan sent all the arrested men on 14 days of judicial remand.

Earlier, officials of Waris Khan Police Station had lodged an FIR against 100 men under section 7 (committing terrorism), 11-W (disseminating material of religious hatred) of ATA, section 353 (encountering police), 186 (obstructing police activities), 147, and 148 (rioting) of PPC.

Similarly, PS New Town officials registered case against 167 men under identical charges after they were arrested while fighting with the police on the Chehlum of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, who was sent to gallows on February 29, 2016 for shooting former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer dead outside a restaurant in federal capital.

Another case was registered with PS City under similar charges against 106 arrested men. In a separate case PS Banni booked 67 men for committing terrorism and clashing with the police.

Violent clashes broke out on March 27 (Sunday) between police and the activists of various religious parties when the later tried to march towards Islamabad leaving Liaquat Bagh, the decided venue for observing Chehlum of Qadri.

In the gathering, leaders of different religious groups also delivered speeches against the government and the army chief. The highly charged Qadri lovers also thrashed media men and damaged metro bus service stations.

Rawalpindi police tried to stop the protesters at Chandni Chowk on Murree Road from marching towards Islamabad. The protesters clashed with the police. Resultantly, 10 men and six cops including CPO Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, three different courts in federal capital yesterday sent 116 arrested persons who were protesting execution of Mumtaz Qadri, to Adiala jail on judicial remand.

The federal police produced the protesters before three different courts and requested the courts to send these arrested persons to Adiala Jail .

Accepting the pleas, the courts sent these protesters to jail and directed the police to produce them again on the next hearing.

The protest that started early Sunday evening was still underway till filing of this report. The demonstration led by Sunni Tehreek (ST) and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool (SAW) leadership had arrived in the capital on Sunday to attend Qadri’s Chehlum presented a charter of demands before the government and announced to stay in the Red Zone unless the government accepts these demands, which include implementation of Shariah in the country and declaring Mumtaz Qadri a martyr.

The protesters issued the set of 10 demands under the banner of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool (SAW). These demands include the unconditional release of all Sunni clerics and leaders booked on various charges, including terrorism and murder; the recognition of Mumtaz Qadri as a martyr and the conversion of his Adiala Jail cell into a national heritage site; assurances that the blasphemy laws will not be amended; and the removal of Ahmadis and other non-Muslims who had occupied key posts.