FIA seeks bail of cybercrime accused who maligned military, judiciary

News Source: Pakistan Today

Author: Farid Sabri

ISLAMABAD: With compliance to the orders of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to exclude Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s anti-terrorism sections against the social media activist working for Maryam Nawaz media cell by hook or by crook, the agency Saturday requested the court to delete anti-terrorism sections and grant him bail, sources confided in Pakistan Today.

Amidst political pressure, the investigation officer of FIA’s cybercrime wing Muhammad Raza submitted a request to exclude 9A and 10 sections of anti-terrorism from the registered FIA before the court of Senior Civil Judge Muhammad Bashir on Saturday.

Acting on the request, the court has exempted the said section and approved his bail against the guarantee of Rs50,000.

Sources said that the accused Anwar Adil Tanoli was working for Maryam Nawaz media cell, and was allegedly involved in maligning Pakistan Army institutions and judiciary on social media through various fake social media accounts using proxies.

On Thursday night, FIA had arrested Tanoli from Islamabad on the complaint of Ibrar Ali.

In the written complaint lodged by a resident of Islamabad, Ibrar mentioned that Tanoli frequently uploads hateful material against the state institutions.

Sources said that during the investigation, the accused admitted working for Maryam Nawaz social media cell, saying he was getting a Rs55,000 salary per month.

“Ahsan Iqbal on Friday pressurised the newly posted FIA DG Bashir Memon to exclude anti-terrorism sections, as well as into granting the accused a bail,’ claimed FIA sources.

But, on the same day, the court had already remanded the accused into FIA custody for three days.

According to some media reports, five members of the same social media cell were apprehended from Lahore last week.

Earlier, the FIR was registered with anti-terrorism sections 9A, 10, section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 (PECA) and the sections 500, 501, 505, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

His accomplice Wajid Rasool Malik, however, has managed to flee the country.

It is important to note that the social media cell has been busy building party’s image, as well as dispelling and countering negative things against the party. The social media cell not only deals with the image building of the party on popular social media forums, but it also draws the media policy on day-to-day political developments. However, according to some opposition party leaders, the same cell is spreading fake and dubious material to defame army institutions, national policies, and judiciary.

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