Saeed, and his four aides, were put under house arrest under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1977, on January 31 this year.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Lahore high court on Wednesday ordered the release of Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed who is accused by India of masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people in 2008.
Saeed heads the Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), which poses as a charity but is a front for the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which carried out the Mumbai attacks. Saeed has always denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks of 2008. Saeed, and his four aides, were put under house arrest under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1977, on January 31 this year.
The Punjab provincial government had asked for a three-month extension of Saeed’s detention, but the request was turned down by the court. “The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case,” the judicial review board said.
“His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow (Thursday),” said a lawyer.
In October, the government did not extend the notification for the detention of Saeed and his aides and withdrew the application pending before the federal review board for their extension. The authorities, however, decided to keep Saeed and his aides under house arrest under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
Pakistan first detained Hafiz Saeed in December 2001 in relation to Indian accusations of his involvement in the attack on Parliament. He was held March 31, 2002, arrested again on May 15, and was placed under house arrest on October 31 of the same year.
After the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings, the Pakistan provincial government of Punjab arrested him on August 9, 2006, and kept him under house arrest but he was released on August 28, 2006 under a Lahore High Court order.
He was arrested again on the same day by the provincial government and kept in the Canal Rest House in Sheikhupura. He was finally released after the Lahore high court order on October 17, 2006.