NEW DELHI: Terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed is all set to walk free after a Pakistani judicial body on Wednesday ordered his release from house arrest.
Saeed, who also heads banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah carries on his head a bounty of USD 10 million (approx 1.5 billion Pakistan Rupee) announced by the United States for his role in terror activities.
He was under house arrest since January this year.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack. Saeed was put under house arrest after Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 but he was freed by court in 2009.
The Judicial Review Board of Punjab province comprising judges of the Lahore High Court ordered Saeed's release on the expiry of his 30-day house arrest which is going to end in a couple of days.
"The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case," said the board which was headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan.
India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and also demanded a trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in the light of the evidence it had provided to Islamabad.
On January 31, Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain - were detained by the Punjab government for 90 days under preventative detention under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. However, the last two extensions were made on the 'public safety law'.
The board, however, refused to give further extension to the detention of Saeed's four aides. They were later set free in the last week of October.
Pakistan fears 'foreign spy agency' planning to kill Hafiz Saeed
Pakistani authorities last week had said that a "foreign intelligence agency" is planning to eliminate Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. The authorities have also written to the Punjab home department in Pakistan to take strict measures to ensure his safety and security.
The National Counter Terrorism Authority, in a letter, said the foreign spy agency had paid Rs 80 million to two activists of a banned outfit for the assassination of Hafiz Saeed.
(With inputs from PTI)