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Pakistan: Sedition charges slapped against Baloch leaders who endorsed Modi's comments

India TV News Desk New Delhi August 23, 2016 9:12 IST
India TV News Desk

Cases have been registered against separatist Baloch leaders Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and Banuk Karima Baloch for supporting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statements on Balochistan, police said on Monday.

The five separate cases were registered on the complaints of petitioners Munir Ahmed, Maulana Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Hussain, Ghulam Yaseen Jatak and Muhammad Rahim in the province's Khuzdar area, Dawn online reported.

Acting District Police Officer Khuzdar Muhammad Ashraf Jatak said the petitioners claimed that Bugti, Marri and Baloch had "supported" Modi's August 15 remarks.

The Baloch leaders were booked under sections 120, 121, 123 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The sections refer to "concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment", "waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan", "concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war", and "assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty", Pakistan's Dawn reported.

Modi in his Independence Day speech said the people of Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' had "thanked him a lot in the past few days".

Ahmed alleged that the Baloch leaders had asked Modi to commit aggression against Pakistan.

Modi's statement sparked protests across Balochistan, with large numbers of tribesmen taking to the streets in protest in Dera Bugti, Khuzdar, Quetta, Chaman and other parts of the province.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, in a speech last week, slammed Modi's statements, alleging that the Indian government "fully supports the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan".

Zehri's speech came days after a video showing exiled Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti appreciating "support" given to the Baloch people by Modi began circulating on social media.

He also alleged that the Indian government "is deeply involved in sponsoring elements like Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri, Zamran Marri and Allah Nazar".

He accused Bugti of "getting funds from Indians", alleging "that's why he supported Modi's statement".