City News

Court sends two ‘JeM fundraisers’ to jail

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday cancelled bail and ordered arrests of two suspects accused of raising funds for the banned militant outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad at an illegal mosque and seminary located in the Surjani Town area of the city.

The ATC-XII judge sent Muhammad bin Shehzad and Rehan Ahmed to jail in judicial custody, dismissing their bail before arrests, which they had obtained from a superior court, on the ground that prime facie the prosecution possessed strong evidence against them.

Meanwhile, the ATC expressed its displeasure at the absence of the deputy commissioner (DC) of District West who on a previous hearing was asked to submit a report on the process to take over the said mosque and madrasa in the government hold.

According to the prosecution, the Jama Masjid Alfatah Alfalah in Maimarabad, Sector 5-D of Surjani Town, was run by Jaish-e-Muhammad’s sister organisation alRehmat Trust to raise funds and induct manpower for their terrorist activities.

The charge sheet read that on the pretext of running a madrasa, the banned outfit brainwashed children and their families, and convinced them to join them as well as procured funds for their terrorist operations.

The investigators found that the 1,400-square-yard plot with an estimated worth of Rs50 million, on which the mosque-madrasa was built, had been allocated for a park in the master plan and was illegally acquired by the banned outfit.

On a previous hearing, the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) had told the court that the said plot was neither allotted to anybody nor demarcated but was illegally occupied. The judge had remarked that it was a matter of great concern how an illegal mosque-madrasa was constructed without the approval of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA)but enjoyed all utilities such as water, power and gas, and salaries from the Sindh government

The madrasa administrator, Musharraf Ali, told the ATC that the facility was taken over by the provincial government in March 2019, in pursuance of the Section 2 of the United Nations (Security Council) Act and the statutory regulatory order no.1236(1) 2008.

The court observed that it was further clear that the legal status of the mosque-madrasa was not checked by the deputy commissioner concerned and such process did not only regularise such an illegal construction but also financially burdened the exchequer.

The prosecutor added that the sections 21 and 25 of the Society Registration Act provided for the registration of a mosque and madrasa accordingly and without registration no such facility could be built, run or have utilities.

He argued that all the relevant departments, including the DC West KDA, SBCA, K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company, had failed to discharge their official duties and abetted the establishment by a banned outfit.

The court has already ordered the director generals of KDA and SBCA to conduct inquiries and name the officials who facilitated or turned a blind eye to the illegal mosque-madrasa.

Meanwhile, the DC West has been summoned again with the report today (July 17).

The case has been registered under the section 11-N (punishment under sections 11H to 11K) of the Anti-Terrorism Act by the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Karachi police. The sub-sections H, I, J and K pertain to fundraising, use and possession, funding arrangements and money laundering by terrorist outfits.

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