Lahore: More than 20 members of Jaish-e- Mohammad militant group and another outfit have been arrested in Pakistan’s Punjab province for illegally collecting hides of sacrificial animals on Eid-ul Azha, police said Tuesday.
The Punjab government had last month banned collection of the hides by banned organisations around Eid. It’s order had listed 64 groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to prevent them from raising funds in the country.
Deputy Inspector General Police Lahore Athar Ismael told reporters that the people arrested were members of Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) and Jaish-e-Mohammad of Maulana Masood Azhar.
“We have taken more than 100 people including FIF and JeM members for illegally collecting hides. Police have also dismantled over 40 hide collection centres of the FIF in the city and stopped the mobile operation as well,” Ismael said.
The chief coordinator of Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Khalid Waleed, said Lahore police have arrested over a dozen of FIF members for collecting hides. He said the police also dismantled the centres they had erected for hide collection.
Waleed claimed there had been no “official ban” on the FIF. “We had challenged the home department’s notification in the Lahore High Court last year and got relief,” he said.
The JuD member alleged the government run by Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of Nawaz Sharif, took action against them to coerce the JuD to withdraw its candidate from contesting against Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of the former prime minister.
The authorities in Pakistan have been issuing orders banning proscribed groups from collecting hides during Eid festivals but they never acted against them previously. PTI