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‘Group trained in neighbouring country involved in sectarian violence in city’

Karachi

May 7, 2019

A group trained in a neighbouring country and the banned Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP) were responsible for the series of incidents of sectarian violence that took place in Karachi during the past few months.

This was revealed by East Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Amir Farooqi on Monday as he shared details of terrorists and target killers who had been arrested in connection with sectarian violence in Karachi.

DIG Farooqi said following the deaths of innocent people in the wave of recent sectarian violence in the city, teams of law enforcement agencies were formed to trace the perpetrators, which succeeded in arresting two groups of notorious sectarian killers.

Target killers

The officer explained that the first group of criminals that had been apprehended included four target killers, a police constable who facilitated them and a few other facilitators along with the main facilitator Syed Imran Haider Zaidi, alias Ali. They were arrested by the District Malir police. However, the leader of the group was still at large.

The other main members of the group who have yet to be arrested include Muhammad, alias Chota, Kashif Abidi and Zulfiqar.

DIG Farooqi identified the four arrested target killers as Waqar, alias Vicky, Muhammad Abbas, alias Shahrukh, Syed Mohtasham Haider, alias Muslim, and Syed Matloob Hussain, alias Owais.

Sharing information about Syed Imran Haider Zaidi, alias Ali, the DIG said he had received training from a neighboring country. In 2015 and 2017, Ali visited a neighbouring country and received military training for 25 days twice, which included the components of information gathering, weapons and explosives handling, surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques, profiling and carrying out recce.

According to the DIG, during interrogation Ali confessed to his involvement in conducting recce of more than 28 individuals of whom nine individuals were targeted. Seven of those targeted attacks were carried out by the group led by Muhammad, alias Chota. Ali had also tasked other members of his group with inducting media persons belonging to the Shia community into the group and sending them to the neighbouring country for training.

One of the arrested alleged target killers, Muhammad Abbas, was a resident of Jaffer Tayyar Society Malir, the DIG said. He added that Abbas was a dedicated member of Ali’s group and he had also received the same training. According to the DIG, Abbas had conducted recce of several targets and multiple FIRs had been registered against him.

About another arrested suspect, Vicky, the officer said he was a resident of FB Area and had been an active member of the Piyam-e-Wilayat Scouts. He allegedly took groups of Shia youth to the neighbouring country for training and was also involved in funds collection for the Piyam-e-Wilayat Scouts. He was also nominated in several FIRs.

DIG Farooqi said Mohtasham was a resident of Hussain Hazara Goth in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 11 and he also received militancy training from the neighboring country twice.

The fourth alleged target killer, Matloob, was convinced by Mohtasham to join the group and visit the neighbouring country for training, the officer said. He added that Matloob was a resident of Salman Farsi Society, Malir, and he had received 18-day training from the neighbouring country.

Matloob allegedly downloaded details of many contesting candidates of various political leaders from the website of the Election Commission of Pakistan and sent them to a foreign handler to identify those who were to be targeted by the group.

SMP group

The DIG also revealed some findings of interrogations of the six alleged target killers of SMP who were arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on April 15. They were identified as Gul Akbar, Muhammad Haider, Haider Abbas, Syed Mehtab Naqvi, Asif Raza, alias Khalid, and Kamran, alias Pathan.

According to the officer, they were involved in sectarian terrorism in the city and their names were also included in the Red Book of the CTD Sindh. The six men confessed during the investigations that they were involved in more than 31 attacks in which more than 50 persons were killed, the officer said.