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Lakhvi arrested in abduction case before release from jail

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014,20:02 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Islamabad | Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was arrested today for kidnapping a man six years ago, stalling his release a day after a Pakistani court suspended his detention under a public security order drawing India’s ire. Just before his release, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping a man named Muhammad Anwer.
In a FIR registered yesterday at a police station in Islamabad, Anwer said he was kidnapped by Lakhvi six years ago. Lakhvi was granted bail on December 18 in the Mumbai attack case but was detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) before his release. He challenged his detention under MPO in the Islamabad High Court which yesterday suspended the government order, evoking a strong reaction from India.
After being slapped with the charge of kidnapping, Lakhvi was taken out of the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi and presented before the judicial magistrate amid tight security at the police station. The magistrate remanded him in police custody for two days. He was later taken to an undisclosed location by the police. Because of security concerns we cannot put him in Golra Sharif police station where the abduction case has been registered against Lakhvi yesterday, an official of Pakistan’s interior ministry said.
Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi alleged that his client has been arrested in a fake case only to please India. The fake abduction case against Lakhvi was registered after the Islamabad High Court suspended his detention to ensure his further detention, he said. Abbasi said he would challenge the fake FIR in court. Lakhvi was set to be freed from the Adaila Jail Rawalpindi this morning on the order of the Islamabad High Court after he submitted Rs 1 million surety bond, but just before that the jail superintendent received an order from the government regarding his arrest in the abduction case.

Pakistani security personnel escort Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (C), alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as he leaves the court in Islamabad on December 30, 2014.

Pakistani security personnel escort Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (C), alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as he leaves the court in Islamabad on December 30, 2014.

The Islamabad High Court’s suspension of Lakhvi’s detention under MPO had outraged India which lodged its strong protest by summoning Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit. India had conveyed its strong concern to Pakistan over the development, saying, there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Basit in New Delhi and the Indian mission in Islamabad took up the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Following today’s development, Lakhvi’s counsel Abbasi said, The executive authority does not seem to accept the court’s order. Arresting my client in another case is like undermining of the court’s order. Islamabad High Court Judge Noorul Haq N Qureshi, while accepting Lakhvi’s application challenging his detention under the MPO, yesterday suspended the government’s order in this regard and directed him to submit a surety bond of Rs 1 million.
The court also asked Lakhvi to ensure his presence in every hearing of the Mumbai attacks case. The government’s law officer was not present when the court gave its ruling. While suspending Lakhvi’s detention order, the court directed the Pakistan government to file a reply in this regard in the next hearing in the case on January 15.
Lakhvi and other six accused – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – were allegedly involved in planning and executing the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead. Lakhvi was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the case. The trial has been underway since 2009.

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