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Karachi

June 20, 2017

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CTD officials concerned over low quality material used in judicial complex

CTD officials concerned over low quality material used in judicial complex

Two notorious Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists who broke out of their cell in the high-security Central Jail Karachi last week had used iron cutter blades to escape, said investigators on Monday. 

The suspected hitmen — Shaikh Mohammad Mumtaz alias Firaun and Mohammad Ahmed Khan alias Munna, who belong to the Qasim Rasheed group of the Naeem Bukhari-led LeJ – had been arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in 2013 for their alleged involvement in over 60 murders, mostly on sectarian grounds.

Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials, who are part of a team probing the shocking jailbreak, have sought a report and a list of contractors and labourers involved in the construction of the judicial complex in the central jail.

Talking to The News, Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi of the CTD said that he along with his staff visited the prison, met officials there and inspected the judicial complex from where the two LeJ terrorists had escaped.

He added that they had talked to the top jail officials and sought a report on the internal inquiry which they had conducted.

Abbasi said they had also sought a list of officials who were deployed for security duty on the day, and questioned the jail officials why they had not mentioned Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) in the FIR.

He said they also questioned the officials why the unter-trial terrorists were allowed to move towards the judicial complex without any official and later who put both the prisoners in the same ward.

According to investigators, groups have been formed with regard to banned outfits and it is yet to be ascertained how the terrorists managed to get the iron rod cutters.

The CTD additional IG said that they had also sought the names of contractors and labourers who were involved in the construction of the judicial complex to question them about the low quality material, including the iron rods.

Speaking to The News, Raja Umer Khattab, incharge of the Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG) of the Courter Terrorism Department, said they had worked on the outer security of the central prison and had not concentrated on the inside security, which had many loopholes in regard to the newly established judicial complex. 

He said the CCTV system installed within the premises was also not functional and should immediately be activated.

Khattab also showed concern over the establishment of the courtroom inside the judicial complex, which, he said, posed security issues.

He said the wall constructed between the accused and the judicial body was not on a modern pattern as they had only installed some iron rods and wire mesh from where things like a pen pistol, poison or letter could be given to the accused. He said the construction material used was also of low quality.

Khattab said there must be bulletproof glass and a microphone system at the courtroom in view of the sensitivity of the courtroom where witnesses, judges and other judicial staff were present.

Speaking about Shaikh Mumtaz, he said that the terrorist was a hardcore terrorist and incharge of Wards 25 and 26 of the central prison where hardcore terrorists were lodged. Mumtaz also used to walk freely inside the jail premises as the jail staff deployed there were scared of the militants, he added.

Khattab said that on the jailbreak day, Mumtaz had left the jail premises with Mohammed Ahmed alias Munna (whose hearing date was fixed) without any jail official attached and none of the officials asked him about his movement with Munna.

He said their investigations showed that the accused had locked them up in a room from where they escaped and it seemed that they had also prepared a map or an escape plan. He said the two LeJ terrorists possessed three shaving blades, a pair of scissors, a plier and iron cutter blades. 

Khattab added that the two shaved off their beards, cut through the iron rods, which were of low quality, and escaped from the judicial complex’s main gate without any checking.

He said that in the jailbreak, outer support was involved for which they were checking the records to ascertain who had come to meet them in their cell. 

It seemed that the terrorists had again regrouped and they had expertise in carrying out target killings, especially of political leaders, police and people belonging to other sects, he said, adding that the terrorists on the run did not possess any expertise of making bomb blasts.

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