Pakistan house arrests Hafiz Saeed

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 08:52

Lahore: Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the chief
of Jamaat-ud-Dawah accused by India of masterminding the
Mumbai terrorist attacks last year, was on Monday placed "under
house arrest" for inciting people to wage jehad.

Lahore police chief Pervaiz Rathore said Saeed’s
movements had been restricted in connection with two cases
registered against him in Faisalabad city last week for making
speeches during which he incited people to wage jehad and
sought funds for the banned JuD.

"We have put him under house arrest and told him
verbally that he cannot move out of his residence. At the
moment, he cannot leave the house," Rathore said.

Asked if the police planned to take more action
against Saeed in connection with the two First Information
Reports registered against him, Rathore replied: "Certainly we
will proceed further."

A large police contingent was deployed outside Saeed’s
home in Johar Town area of Lahore late last night to restrict
his movements. However, officials said no formal written order
had been issued for placing Saeed under house arrest.

It is expected that a written order on Saeed’s
detention will be issued by authorities after the end of the
three-day Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, which began today.

Earlier this morning, police barred Saeed, also the
founder of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba that has been blamed for
carrying out the Mumbai attacks, from leaving his home to lead
Eid prayers near the Gaddafi Stadium in this eastern Pakistani
city.

Superintendent of Police (Lahore division) Sohail
Sukhera said Saeed’s movements had been restricted due to
concerns for his security.

"We have only stopped Saeed from offering Eid prayers
at a ground near Gaddafi Stadium to ensure the safety of him
and his people. We have intelligence information in this
regard and that is why we cannot allow him to move freely,"
Sukhera said.

The Eid prayers at the ground near Gaddafi Stadium
were later led by Saeed’s son. Saeed was allowed to attend
prayers at a local mosque.

The move to restrict Saeed’s movements comes days
ahead of meetings between the Foreign Secretaries and Foreign
Ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN
General Assembly in New York.

A JuD spokesman said the group had received "no formal
order" regarding Saeed`s detention. He claimed the Pakistan
government was taking action against Saeed due to pressure
from India and the US. The spokesman also said the
government`s action amounted to a violation of Saeed`s "basic
human rights" and the JuD would challenge it in court.

Last week, police in Faisalabad registered two FIRs
under the Anti-Terrorism Act against Saeed for making speeches
in which he incited people to wage jehad against infidels and
sought funds for his banned group.

Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last
year after the JuD was declared a terrorist organisation by
the UN Security Council. He was freed on the orders of the
Lahore High Court in June.

The federal and Punjab governments filed appeals
against the High Court’s order in the Supreme Court but the
matter is yet to be listed for hearing.

Meanwhile, Saeed`s lawyer A K Dogar said his client
was being "victimised" by the Pakistan Government which
restricted his movement and barred him from attending Eid
prayers.

He also took objection to Indian Home Minister P
Chidambaram`s remarks that the evidence against Saeed is in
Pakistan.

"India`s Home Minister is not right because whatever
has happened it has happened in India. If someone connected to
HafiZ Saeed has done it, let it be brought to me... I`ll stop
being his lawyer," he said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 08:52

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