Tuesday July 16, 2024

TTP-LeJ collaboration in DSP Ali Raza’s killing suspected

By Faraz Khan & Salis bin Perwaiz
July 09, 2024
Funeral prayer of martyred  Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) CTD Investigation  Ali Raza is being offered at Central Police Office (CPO) in Karachi on July 8, 2024. — PPI
Funeral prayer of martyred  Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) CTD Investigation  Ali Raza is being offered at Central Police Office (CPO) in Karachi on July 8, 2024. — PPI

The funeral prayers of DSP Ali Raza, an officer of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) martyred in a targeted attack on Sunday night in District Central, were offered at the Central Police Office on Monday.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Home Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, provincial advisor Najmi Alam, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, Sindh IGP, DG Rangers and other senior officials attended the funeral of the martyred police officer, who was later laid to rest in the Wadi-e-Hussain graveyard.

Though no major progress has been made in the murder case; senior counter-terrorism officers suspected the involvement of a banned militant outfit in the incident. They suspected that it could be a joint venture of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Senior counter-terrorism officer Raja Umer Khattab, while talking to The News, said that on the social media platform Al Fajr, a report about the killing of DSP Ali Raza was broadcast just saying that “Mujahideen” targeted DSP Ali Raza. He said it is important to note that there is a difference between reporting a murder and claiming responsibility for it. “This is not the first time that such news has been reported on Al Fajr. Previously, a similar incident involving the killing of a police officer in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi was reported on Al Fajr. However, forensic analysis showed no match between the empty bullet casings found at Sohrab Goth and those found at the scene of DSP Ali Raza’s murder,” Khattab explained.

“This indicates a new pattern by terrorists, where they report incidents on such channels or websites to secure their operatives’ identities and avoid revealing the names of individuals or their organisations. This tactic is being employed across Pakistan, highlighting the spread of terrorism from KPK to urban areas, with a specific focus on targeting law enforcement agencies.”

Khattab further said that Ali Raza was a high-value target for terrorists due to multiple reasons: he was a senior anti-terror cop with significant actions against terror outfits, a close associate of the slain SP Chaudhry Aslam Khan, belonged to the Shia community, and was a relatively soft target. It is evident that proper reconnaissance was conducted before executing the attack, and it was a premeditated decision to target Ali Raza, he remarked.

“The terrorists waited for Muharram and achieved their target on the 1st of Muharram,” he explained. Khattab stated that there is no doubt this was the work of a terrorist outfit. He suggested that it could be a joint venture between the TTP and a sectarian outfit like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as Hafiz Qasim Rasheed, the former chief of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has been released from jail. However, since the investigations are still in the initial stages, nothing conclusive can be stated yet. Efforts are ongoing, and there is a strong commitment to apprehend Ali Raza’s killers soon, he said.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of funeral prayers, the chief minister vowed to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. He also met with the family of DSP Raza. According to the spokesperson, Shah assured the family that the killers of DSP Raza would be arrested and brought to justice soon. He stated that our police have made great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, and their sacrifices will not go in vain.

Lanjar media talk

Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar has said police sleuths are probing Counter Terrorism Department DSP Ali Raza’s murder in which the involvement of Lyari gang war elements and operatives of banned outfits is being suspected.

Talking to media on Monday, he said the DSP Ali Raza murder case is being investigated by keeping in view possible involvement of suspects from banned outfits, especially the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lyari gang war, as Raza during his service had arrested several members of these groups and also remained active in operations against such elements.

Answering a query about martyred police officer, the home minister said Raza had been working in the CTD for a long time. This incident happened on the 1st of Muharram, and investigators were also looking at as a sectarian killing also. Raza carried out operations against Lyari gang war elements, he mentioned.

Lanjar said they were also working upon social media and some social media laws which needed to be amended. Moreover, he said they had suggested that social media should be closed till 10th Muharram.

On a query, the provincial home minister said that suggestions are under consideration in case of surrender of robbers in the Kutcha areas and it has been proposed that 50 acres of land should be given to families of Kutcha dacoits for living. He said these robbers will be punished according to the law.

He remarked that the peace has been restored in Karachi due to police sacrifices. He said that due to continuous efforts of police three hostages were rescued safely.

Lanjar said the people of Karachi are with the police, the robbers are being eliminated in Kutcha areas, and due to continuous operations in the Kutcha areas the law enforcers have also rescued three people of the Hindu community.

On another query, the home minister said there are concerns in Muharram and a meeting with Ulema on the law and order issue in Sindh is underway. “I hope that the law and order situation will be fine till the day of Ashura.”

He added that the Lyari gang war elements may have had an old rivalry but whoever is involved in this murder will reach a logical conclusion.

Later, Home Minister Lanjar chaired a meeting to review the security arrangements for Muharram. The meeting was attended by the DIGs and SSPs from across the province, who joined in person or via video link.

He directed that all procession routes be considered sensitive and security measures be made foolproof and extraordinary. He also ordered the deployment of young police officers and personnel at police posts in sensitive areas as well as the transfer of officers above 45 years old to police stations.

The home minister emphasized the need for harmony between different sects and schools of thought and directed that all stakeholders be taken on board to ensure peace during Muharram. He also warned that legal action would be taken against individuals listed in the Fourth Schedule.

Lanjar directed that foolproof security arrangements be made for all processions and Majalis; rooftop deployments, sniper deployments, and bomb disposal squads be ensured; and sweeping and clearance operations be conducted on procession routes.

The IGP assured the meeting that the Sindh police were ready and alert to handle Muharram security and had already deployed additional personnel in all districts since the first of Muharram.