The Supreme Court of Pakistan granted bail on Thursday to Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, the leader of the Haq Do Tehreek (HDT), who has been imprisoned for more than three months on murder allegations.
Last year, Hidayutur Rehman gained headlines for organizing a series of rallies in Gwadar against illegal trawling in Gwadar waters, a large number of security checkpoints, and a lack of trade on the Pakistan-Iran border.
Rehman, who is also the Balochistan general secretary of Jamaat-i-Islami, was detained in Gwadar on January 13 on allegations related to the killing of a police officer by unidentified assailants on December 27, 2022, during HDT rallies.
The arrest of the HDT chairman sparked protests around Gwadar. His supporters had warned last month that if he was not acquitted, there would be more protests.
Hidayatur Rehman’s bail application was heard by a three-judge panel led by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. Kamran Murtaza, Hidayatur Rehman’s lawyer, was also present.
At the commencement of the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel informed the court that his client had been apprehended on court grounds.
Justice Masood enquired as to why the arrest had not been challenged.
In response, the attorney stated that at the time of the incident, the Supreme Court had not yet declared that an arrest made on the grounds was illegal. “This rule was decided in the aftermath of Imran Khan’s arrest,” the lawyer explained.
However, the state counsel contended that Hidayatur Rehman should not be granted bail until the court processes against the principal suspect, Majid Johar, were completed.
Hidayatur Rehman was charged with encouraging and helping in the murder of a police officer, according to Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.
His counsel, Murtaza, responded that the particular charge would be determined during the trial.
According to the council, Rehman’s relocation was solely for the purpose of facilitating water supply.
Following arguments, the Supreme Court granted bail to the HDT chairman, subject to two surety bonds of Rs300,000 each.
The case against HDT’s CEO
On December 22, last year, a police constable was killed in Gwadar as a result of clashes between HDT activists — who had been protesting in the city for nearly two months with various demands including an end to illegal trawling in Gwadar’s water, the establishment of a large number of security checkpoints, and the opening of trade on the Pak-Iran border.
Constable Yasir was shot in the neck during the rally at Hashmi Chowk, according to police spokesperson Aslam Khan. “He died right there on the spot.”
Following that, the police filed a first information report (FIR) against Hidayatur Rehman on allegations of murder, attempted murder, inciting people to violence, and other offenses.
The FIR was filed on December 30, 2022, and accuses three other people of being responsible for the alleged offenses, in addition to Rehman.
According to the complaint, Rehman “provoked and incited the people sitting there (at the protest site) to pelt stones at government vehicles,” which allegedly resulted in the “shattering of car windows” of a police officer, among other losses.
In November 2021, a movement advocating for the rights of Gwadar residents was formed, with Maulana Rehman at the helm.