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LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested anchorperson Imran Riaz on Thursday on charges of hate speech and making a violence-inducing statement aimed at creating a rift between the general public and the state institutions.

The Incharge FIA Cyber Crime Wing told this scribe that the FIR was registered under sections 11 (electronic forgery), 20 (malicious code) and 24 (legal recognition of offences committed in relation to information system) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. Likewise, sections 131/109 (incitement to mutiny), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code have also been added to the FIR.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with the Business Recorder, Khan was found involved in publicly making a hate speech at a conference which falls under the territorial jurisdiction of FIA cyber crime cell. The complaint went on to say that the speech was also shared on social media platforms nationally and internationally.

Imran in his video, as mentioned in the FIR, questioned former army chief Gen Bajwa’s pledge for the military to remain apolitical in his final speech as the army chief. The sources in the FIA pointed out that it had been found that the same mischievous video of the alleged person was publicly shared and a part of that video was posted by a Twitter user which was retweeted by Imran Riaz.

Imran Riaz Khan arrested

The FIR said the nexus of retweeting the mischievous video by the alleged person from the Twitter handlers has been technically verified by the agency.

The FIA report said the violence-inducing statement made intentionally by Imran Riaz may cause, or is likely to cause, fear or alarm among the public or any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquility or incite or likely to incite any class or community or person to commit any offence against any other class or community on the grounds of spreading anarchy, division in the social fabric against the state and the state institutions, bloodshed, extremism, terrorism, feelings of enmity, hatred between the people of Pakistan.

PTI General Secretary Asad Umar condemned the arrest of Riaz Khan by saying that journalists and politicians are in jail, while terrorists are walking free in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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