In a major development, an Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday declared Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar as a proclaimed offender and issued perpetual warrants for his arrest. Earlier on Sunday, the police had submitted a report in the court requesting it to take action against Sattar under Sections 87 (proclamation for persons absconding) and 88 (attachment of property of person absconding) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC ), reports the Dawn.
This came after the police were unable to execute the warrants issued against Sattar, Altaf Hussain, Amir Khan and 30 others persons. Earlier on Friday night, Sattar was taken to police custody in connection with cases pertaining to the incendiary August 22 speech of MQM founder Altaf Hussain, which triggered a violent protest of media houses. However, reportedly Sattar was freed in less than two hours on the intervention of a top provincial authority.
On Februarys 27, the Police in Karachi were directed by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to put the names of MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Khalid Maqbool and Amir Liaquat on the Exit Control List (ECL). The instructions were issued after the police repeatedly failed to produce the absconders in recent hearings of five identical cases regarding the facilitation of hate speech and sedition, reports the Dawn. The ATC had first issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Sattar and MQM founder Altaf Hussain on September 28, 2016.
Sattar and the others have been charged with listening to, organising and facilitating a speech made by Hussain in which he railed against the military establishment and security agencies. Hussain was also accused of inciting MQM workers to attack the offices of two media houses in the same speech. About 2,000 unnamed MQM activists were also termed absconders in the charge sheet. On Aug 22, the day of the speech, Sindh Rangers had taken Sattar and MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan into custody from outside Karachi Press Club.
The two leaders had intended to address a press conference in connection with the attack on ARY News; however, as they were about to start, Rangers officials arrived at the site and asked both leaders to accompany them to Rangers headquarters. The two were released after eight hours in custody.