Under pressure from India and the US to act against Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the mastermind of Mumbai terror attack, Pakistani police on Thursday registered cases against him and one of his close aides Abu Jandal under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
A senior police officer told PTI late tonight that three First Information Reports – two against Saeed and one against Abu Jandal – were registered at police stations in Faisalabad, some 100 km from here, for allegedly inciting people to wage 'jehad' (holy war) against "infidels".
The cases were filed in connection with Saeed's visit to Faisalabad on August 27 and 28.
The officer, who did not wish to be identified, said Saeed had attended iftar-dinners and held a meeting with activists of his banned organisation during which he asked the people to wage a jehad.
Saeed, also the founder of banned Lashker-e-Taiba, has been blamed by India for masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks. The police action against Saeed comes days ahead of a proposed meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Addressing the gatherings, Saeed reportedly highlighted the importance of jehad and incited his followers to wage war on infidels. "Saeed had also sought donations from the gatherings for jehad," a source in a law enforcement agency told PTI.
Sources said the first congregation addressed by Saeed in Faisalabad was held at a hotel on Canal Road and was attended by a large number of people. The second was held at the residence of a JuD activist on Jaranwala Road, they said. "Abu Jandal held a separate meeting and preached jehad," a source said.
Following these meetings, officials of the Special Branch of Punjab Police filed applications for registering cases against Saeed. Police were given a "green signal" from authorities for registering cases against Saeed and Jandal under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The senior police officer said the FIRs had been registered under provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the police stations at People's Colony, Madina Town and Sadar in Faisalabad.
"We have not conducted any raids as we are waiting for a go-ahead from the high-ups," the officer said. He added that Saeed's detention or arrest could not be ruled out.
Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN Security Council declared the JuD a terrorist organisation. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court in June this year.
India has been insisting that Pakistan should take action against Saeed for his alleged role in masterminding the Mumbai attacks but Islamabad has said the evidence provided by New Delhi against the JuD chief is not adequate for arresting or prosecuting him.