MQM founder Altaf Hussain has been arrested by the Scotland Yard in London for inciting violence through hate speech in August 2016.
It is being said that Hussain was detained early Tuesday morning during a raid at his house in north London. He has been shifted to a police station.
UK’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that a man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into a number of speeches made by a person associated with the MQM. They, however, did not reveal the suspect’s name.
The police said that the said man is in his in 60s and was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 (intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence) of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
The officers are currently carrying out a search operation at his house and searching a separate commercial address in northwest London, they said in a statement.
He is being investigated for making a speech in August 2016, the police said. “Throughout the investigation, officers have been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to our ongoing inquiries,” they added.
However, Qasim Raza, a spokesperson for the MQM, told SAMAA Digital that his party leader was “taken for an interview at a London police station”.
He said that the MQM trusts the British legal system and the party’s coordination committee is in constant consultation with a team of lawyers.
What is the hate speech case?
Hussain has been accused of delivering a ‘fiery’ speech while addressing his party workers on August 22, 2016. He allegedly chanted anti-Pakistan slogans and incited the workers to vandalise media offices in Karachi.
In April, a police team from London arrived in Islamabad to investigate the case. They recorded statements of six witnesses of the Sindh police.
The Sindh police were ordered to travel to Islamabad with relevant records pertaining to the investigation. They were asked to bring with them copies of the CCTV footage of the events that occurred on August 22, copies of all photographs and statements of witnesses who took the photographs and other relevant material.
The purpose of the Metropolitan team’s visit was to present a case to the Crown Prosecution Service to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence for the prosecution in UK courts.