Anti-Vice Badar Squad Founder Arrested

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Founder of anti-vice Badar squad, Azhar Mohamad, was arrested after a Kedah Islamic Religious Affairs Department officer lodged a report against the vigilante group.

  • No search warrant to raid hotels to conduct khalwat checks
  • Counselling conducted at cemetery excessive

Azhar, 46, was detained by police at around 9pm on Sunday at the squad’s office.

He has been remanded for four days to assist investigations under the Official Secrets Act and the Societies Act.

The investigation into Azhar was under the OSA because he had posted internal police information on his Facebook page.

Kedah CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mior Faridalatrash Wahid said another group member, in his 30s, was also arrested.

The squad did not have any search warrant to enter premises to conduct checks.

The group is also not registered with the Registrar of Societies.

The controversial Badar squad members had been carrying out raids on budget hotels in Sungai Petani for the last two years.

Azhar previously said the squad has nabbed “hundreds of couples”.

Those caught committing khalwat were taken to a cemetery, where they were given counselling.

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul had reportedly hit slammed the squad, saying the counselling conducted at the cemetery was excessive.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa had also said those who took the law into their own hands in the name of Islam only tarnished their good deeds and intentions.

When the media first reported on Badar’s activities two months ago, the authorities said it was acting illegally, while the members said they carry out their raids with verbal consent from the police and religious authorities after notifying them before a raid.

Azhar insisted that Badar squad members have not done wrong by the religion, saying their aim is to ensure Muslim youth do not commit khalwat.