PTI leader arrested in coronavirus rumour case

CHITRAL: District and Sessions Judge Chitral Javedur Rehman on Tuesday cancelled the bail before arrest (BBA) obtained by PTI leader Irshad Mukarar in connection with a case registered against him on the charge of spreading rumour regarding arrival of a novel coronavirus case in Chitral.

Irshad Mukarar

On Feb 3, Mr Mukarar shared pictures of a Chinese man being treated at the THQ hospital of Drosh and expressed fears that coronavirus might have reached Chitral.

He urged authorities concerned for special scanning of all Chinese nationals working in Lavi power project near Drosh for the virus.

But the district administration said the Chinese man had come to the hospital with the complaint of a stomach pain and was discharged after being treated. It said the rumour spread by Mr Mukarar caused panic among the people of Chitral.

Later, the Drosh police registered a case against him under Section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and section 25 of the Telegraph Act against him.

Soon after registration of the case, Mr Mukarar obtained BBA from the local court which was cancelled today.

The sessions court in Chitral observed that the case against Mr Mukarar was registered without any malice and confirmation of the BBA would stifle the case of the prosecution and hence it is dismissed.

He was then arrested from the courtroom and shifted to Drosh, by the police.–Bashir Hussain Azad



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