The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to Haq Do Tehreek (HDT) chief Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, who was detained earlier this year on murder charges after leading multiple protests in Gwadar seeking protection of the rights of local residents.
Rehman, who is also the general secretary of the Balochistan chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested in Gwadar on Jan. 13 for his alleged role in the murder of a policeman by unidentified assailants on Dec. 27, 2022, when supporters of the HDT were protesting against illegal trawling, lack of Pak-Iran trade, and excessive security checkposts. His arrest had triggered further protests, with supporters vowing to continue their demonstrations until his release.
The bail plea was heard by a three-member bench comprising Justices Sardar Tariq Masood, Aminuddin Khan and Muhammad Ali Mazhar. During proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel argued that his client was arrested from court premises and was entitled to be released under the precedent set by the apex court last week to declare Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest illegal.
The state’s counsel, however, argued that bail should not be granted until the judicial proceedings against the main suspect, Majid Johar, were concluded. To this, Justice Mazhar questioned if he faced charges of inciting and aiding in the murder of the policeman. The lawyer said this would be determined during the trial.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the bench approved bail for the HDT chief against two surety bonds of Rs. 300,000 each.