Registration of cases under amplifier act angers clerics

.—AFP/File

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: As the police continued registering cases against khateebs for violating the ban on the use of loudspeakers except for Azan and Friday sermons, religious circles started criticising the move on Sunday.

During the last one month, scores of cases have been registered against the Khateebs under the amplifier act.

On January 17 alone, the khateebs of six mosques in the capital city were booked under the amplifier act.

Also read: Lal Masjid naib khateeb booked

On Sunday, Sunni Tehreek said it had convened a meeting at Tarnol on Monday to discuss the registration of cases against the khateebs.

Naeem Raza, the media coordinator for Sunni Tehreek, told Dawn that under the amplifier act loudspeakers can only be used for Azan and Friday sermons but different schools of thought belonging to Ahle Sunnat and Shias also offered Darood (praising Prophet Muhammad and his companions) after Azan.

“But the police have started registering FIRs against khateebs ju st for saying Darood, which is not acceptable. We have learnt that cases have also been registered in Punjab.” He said his party would devise a strategy against the police move.

“We have supported the operation Zarb-i-Azb and also assured the government of our support against terrorism. But still the police are registering FIRs and threatening us,” he said.

However, a police official requesting not to be identified said the khateebs delivered speeches but after the registration of the FIRs they claimed that they were just saying Darood after Azan.

In the meantime, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif directed the police to first verify the illegal use of loudspeakers and inspect the hate material before registering a case.

A senior police official said Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera directed all the divisional police chiefs to depute officers in the rank of the deputy superintendent to verify the violation of the ban on loudspeakers and hate material prior to the registration of a case.

The IGP also directed the police not to consider Darood as a violation of the ban on the use of loudspeakers as it was allowed before and after Azan. The IGP issued the directives after meeting the chief minister on the issue raised by Sunni Tehreek.

On Thursday, three cases were registered with the Waris Khan police against three bookshop owners for selling materials criticising different sects.

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