The anti-terrorism courts' administrative judge on Friday sent four suspected militants associated with the banned Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) on remand in police custody for 10 days.
The suspects -- Sarang, alias Sohail Mirani; Basheer Ahmed Sher; Anees Ahmed and Khawand Bakhsh, alias Saleem Sindhi -- were presented by the Counter Terrorism Department in court on charges of possessing illicit weapons and explosives.
On Thursday, Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had claimed to have made a major breakthrough in its long-pending terrorism cases by arresting the four men allegedly associated with the banned outfit.
CTD Sindh chief DIG Omar Shahid Hamid said they had been investigating pending terrorism cases reported in the city in collaboration with federal intelligence agencies when they were led to the men.
He said their investigations showed that the men were involved in terrorism, including grenade attacks on Rangers’ mobiles and checkpoints, adding that the investigators had traced them to Mirpurkhas.
He said that acting on the information gathered by that time, a raid was carried out in Mirpurkhas with the help of an intelligence agency, adding that the four were arrested after some resistance.
The CTD chief said the suspects told them during questioning that they had hurled a grenade at a Sindh Rangers mobile near Kamran Chowrangi in Gulistan-e-Jauhar on June 10. He said the suspects had hurled a grenade at a Rangers checkpoint near the Manzil Pump in Malir Town the same day, and the attack had injured two passers-by.
The officer said the suspects had also hurled a grenade at a bakery in Sachal Goth, due to which retired Rangers inspector Ashiq Ali was martyred. He said the suspects claimed their organisation has links with the Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research & Analysis Wing), which funds their group.
DIG Hamid said the commander of the SRA is Syed Asghar Ali Shah, alias Sajjad Shah, whose two brothers Pariyal Shah and Zamin Shah were killed in a police encounter near the Safari Park. He added that Sharea Faisal sub-divisional police officer Qasim Ghauri was martyred and Inspector Haider Ali and Inspector Malik Saleem were injured during that shoot-out. He said the suspects claimed they were tasked by their commander to hurl a hand grenade at the Independence Day stall set up near the Jauhar Complex.
The CTD chief said the suspects reached the hideout for the grenades as directed but could not find them initially. He added that later, after finding the grenade, they went to the stall but did not attack it after seeing the children gathered there. He said that according to the suspects, their accomplice Javed had called them on August 11 to inform them that the commander wanted them to hurl a grenade at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on August 14, but they failed to do so because of the strict security arrangements there. The officer said their investigations show that Javed Mangrio, Sajjad Sher and others had planned to hit a HiAce van carrying Chinese nationals and Rangers soldiers in Korangi but they failed to carry out the attack.
The judge while remanding the arrested suspects sought progress report from the investigation officer on the next hearing.