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April 2, 2020

JIT on local RAW network finds weapons in Karachi University raid


April 2, 2020

The joint investigation team (JIT) formed on India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) allegedly being operated in Karachi by militants affiliated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) found weapons in a raid at the University of Karachi (KU) on Wednesday.

A senior police officer privy to the matter told The News that besides a machine gun, two pistols and ammunition, the raiding party led by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) also recovered a desktop computer, a laptop and anti-state literature.

The officer revealed that one of the recently arrested suspects, namely Majid, had set up his office at KU’s Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC) on the orders of Shahid, alias Muttahida, his gang’s chief for Karachi.

The policeman said the raid was conducted on the information provided to the JIT by the arrested suspects, adding that Federal Investigation Agency officials also assisted the SIU team in the action at KU and had started the assessment of the IP (internet protocol) address being used by the suspects.

To verify the claims that the suspects used to get orders from India to carry out terrorist activities in Karachi, email records and other relevant data have also been seized during the raid, added the officer. He said the JIT team had also raided the houses of all the three arrested suspects and seized the photographs of Pakistan’s sensitive installations as well as maps and cheque books.

‘No comments’

While KU officials confirmed that a raid was conducted at the university, they refused to comment on the issue, saying that the law-enforcement authorities were yet to formally inform them about the outcome of the raid, adds our correspondent.

They said they would not comment on the weapons seized from the AERC because neither was the news official nor the university had been officially told why the raid was carried out and what happened during it.

Five-day remand

The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts remanded the three men affiliated with the pro-Altaf Hussain MQM-L to police custody for five more days in cases pertaining to the possession of illegal weapons and explosives, adds our correspondent.

The judge sent Shahid, Majid and Adil Ansari on physical remand until April 6 after the investigating officer said the suspects had revealed sensitive information during interrogation, adding that their custody was required to follow up on their disclosures.

‘Terror plot foiled’

The Karachi police claimed on March 19 to have foiled a major potential terrorism plot as they busted a local network of RAW operated by militants affiliated with the MQM-L. The city police chief said that there had been reports about RAW’s involvement in terrorism in Karachi, about the MQM-L running the intelligence agency’s local network and about the likelihood of them carrying out a major terror activity in the metropolis at any time.

“We found during our investigations that the MQM-L terrorist who received militancy training in India is the ringleader of the RAW network in Karachi,” Additional Inspector General of Police (Addl IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon said while addressing a news conference at the Karachi Police Office in Saddar.

“The ringleader had been involved in terrorism here with his MQM-L colleagues on RAW’s instructions. He had been in touch with former APMSO [All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation] chairman Mehmood Siddiqui, who has been in India for the past many years on RAW’s payroll, and used to despatch funds through hawala-hundi for carrying out terror activities in Karachi,” he said. The group had also been keeping in touch with the MQM-L’s notorious terrorist Safdar Baqri in Canada, he added.

The Addl IGP said the group had been tasked by RAW to provide funds to different terrorist groups in Karachi for carrying out terror activities, to store bombs and other weapons and supply them to different terrorists, to gather information about the city’s sensitive installations, including those of security and intelligence agencies, and share it with the intelligence agency as well as provide updates on the political situation in the metropolis.

He said the group also used to provide RAW’s special funds to Khalid Shamim, a prime suspect in the Imran Farooq murder case, adding that their bank transactions had been traced.

The city police chief said that the SIU had been tasked with finding and arresting the suspects, adding that the officials conducted raids in different parts of the city, including Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Federal B Area and Korangi, and arrested Shahid, alias Muttahida, an MQM-L militant heading RAW’s operations in Karachi, and two of his accomplices, namely Majid and Adil Ansari.

Memon said that since the group had been involved in financing terrorism as well as international murder, the government had been asked to form a joint investigation team, adding that a cash reward had also been recommended for the SIU team for saving Karachi from a major terrorism incident. The police chief also claimed to have recovered a huge cache of weapons and ammunition, including hand grenades, mortars and launchers, as well as fuses and electronic detonators.