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Pakistan extends detention of LeJ Malik Ishaq chief for 3 more months

The anti-Shia cleric also masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.

By: Press Trust of India | Lahore |
Updated: September 26, 2014 4:40:05 pm
 Malik Ishaq is accused of killing more than 100 people of Shia community including an Iranian diplomat. (Source: Reuters) Malik Ishaq is accused of killing more than 100 people of Shia community including an Iranian diplomat. (Source: Reuters)

The detention of the chief of banned terrorist outfit LeJ Malik Ishaq, who masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, has been extended for further three months by Pakistani authorities citing “big risk” to the law and order situation during the month of Muharram.

The Punajb Review Board comprising three judges of the Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered further detention of the anti-Shia cleric for three-months after the law officer pleaded that he was a “big risk” for the law and order situation during the month of Muharram.

Ishaq, who is accused of killing more than 100 people of Shia community including an Iranian diplomat, was produced before the judges amid tight security. Heavy police contingent was deployed on the high court premises as Ishaq was brought here from Multan district jail.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) supporters were not allowed on the court premises during the in-camera proceedings held by the board.

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The law officer argued that Ishaq had been detained for  “spreading religious hatred” during his public gatherings.

“Ishaq is a big risk for law and order situation ahead of Muharram,” he said and sought a maximum extension in the detention.

Ishaq was also allowed to speak. He said: “The government had detained me without any tangible evidence. My detention is illegal and I request the board to free me.”

The board however accepted government’s plea and extended detention of Ishaq for three more months.

Ishaq was released on bail in July 2011 after 14 years behind bars over his alleged role in numerous sectarian murders and the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. He was acquitted in 34 of the 44 cases against him, involving the killing of 100 people, and granted bail in the remaining 10 cases, including the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in  March 2009.

Soon after his release attacks on Shia community increased especially in Quetta. The government then put him under house arrest.

LeJ was added by Pakistani government to the list of its  terror organisations in August 2001.

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