Quetta: Days after PM Narendra Modi had openly expressed his support to people of Balochistan, the Pakistani government has booked prominent separatist Baloch leaders for allegedly supporting the Indian Prime Minister's statements on the region.
According to Dawn News, those who have been booked are Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and Banuk Karima Baloch among others.
The action was taken following the complaints of petitioners Munir Ahmed, Maulana Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Hussain, Ghulam Yaseen Jatak and Muhammad Rahim at five police stations in Balochistan's Khuzdar area.
The Baloch leaders have been booked under sections 120, 121, 123 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code, it said.
The sections refer to "concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment", "waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan", "concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war", and "assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty".
Dawn quoted District Police Officer Khuzdar Muhammad Ashraf Jatak as saying that the applicants claimed Bugti, Marri and Baloch had 'supported' Modi's August 15 speech.
The Indian premier in a speech on India's independence day ─ in what some analysts believe is a move to divert attention away from the Kashmir issue ─ said that the people of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir 'thanked him a lot in the past few days'.
Petitioner Munir Ahmed also alleged that the Baloch leaders had asked the Indian premier to commit aggression against Pakistan.
Modi's controversial statement sparked protests across Balochistan, with large numbers of tribesmen taking to the streets in protest in Dera Bugti, Khuzdar, Quetta, Chaman and other parts of the province.
As protests against Modi were underway, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri in a speech last week slammed the Indian premier's statements, alleging that the Indian government "fully supports the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan".
Zehri's speech came days after a video showing exiled Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti appreciating 'support' given to the Baloch people by the Indian premier began circulating on social media.
He also alleged that the Indian government "is deeply involved in sponsoring elements like Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri, Zamran Marri and Allah Nazar".
He accused Bugti of "getting funds from Indians", alleging "that's why he supported Modi's statement".
With Agency Inputs