Rioting case: MQM’s mayor-nominee gets pre-arrest bail extension till Feb 1

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) extended on Monday the interim pre-arrest bail granted earlier to Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s mayor-nominee Wasim Akhtar in a case relating to rioting and violation of the loudspeaker act.

Headed by Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh, the bench extended the bail till February 1, 2016. The MQM leader, nominated as the party’s candidate for Karachi mayor, had moved court to seek bail after an anti-terrorism court issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest as the police had declared him an absconder in the case.

Last November, the Soldier Bazaar police had booked several MQM leaders and workers for allegedly holding a rally without permission near the Quaid’s mausoleum, blocking roads, misusing loudspeakers and rioting in protest over Rangers’ raids against them.

The prosecution alleged that MQM activists had staged a rally and sit-in when police stopped the party members from marching towards Jinnah Courts, headquarters of the Sindh Rangers. They were booked under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 6/7 of the Sindh Sound (Regulation) Act, 2015, commonly known as the loudspeaker act.

On January 6, the SHC bench had granted Akhtar bail for a sum of Rs10,000. A day earlier, the ATC had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of various MQM leaders and several unidentified party workers after the investigation officer showed them as ‘absconders’ in the charge-sheet. Around 1,500 to 2,000 party workers were also booked in the case. On Monday, Akhtar was present in the court, which extended his pre-arrest bail till February 1.

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