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Saturday December 04, 2021

Johar Town blast: No breakthrough in probe so far

June 26, 2021
Johar Town blast: No breakthrough in probe so far

LAHORE: The investigators of Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) have so far failed to make any breakthrough in the Johar Town blast even after passage of three days.

They could not find a trace so far that could serve as a link or lead to the involvement of a militant organisation or agency. It is first of its kind blast in which not a single terror outfit claimed responsibility, which proves it a cowardly act of some foreign country.

The investigations focused on David Paul, a suspect arrested after being offloaded from a Karachi-bound flight in Lahore, as he had a suspected link with the ownership of the blackCorolla car.

Sources claimed there were some other arrests also connected to David Paul. David had been arrested because he was linked to the black car used in the blast. He told the CTD that he had handed over the vehicle for use on a request of a friend.

It is a common practice, as they shared their logistics while travelling around, he added. He said that the person who took the vehicle from him was wearing a mask, so he could not identify him. Another arrest was also made in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and the suspect was also linked to David Paul. An investigator said over two days had passed, but no organisation had accepted responsibility for the blast.

The other arrested suspects had similarities with profile and business of David. Two teams of CTD had been deputed: one chasing the evidence with the angle that the accused used local transport to escape the provincial metropolis, and the other focusing on the use of private vehicle for leaving the city.

Meanwhile, the CTD also grilled the officials that had checked the vehicle at Babu Sabu entrance of the metropolis. The suspected driver had a dialogue with the officials for at least nine minutes. When the officials asked him to open the backside of the vehicle, he said that exterior lock was not working and his car was tampered with. The official belonged to Anti-Vehicle Lifting Staff (AVLS). He said he checked the documents and let him go when got satisfied.

An investigator also said that the explosives were installed in the vehicle when the car entered the city. He added that as the movement was tracked, time-period analysis from entrance at Babu Sabu to blast site, suggested that it was not enough to install explosives after entering the city. He said the explosives were installed in the engine parts of the vehicle as it was the worst damaged part of the four-wheeler. Installation there was tricky and complicated and takes time. That also hinted at the installation of explosives outside the city.

Contrary to the claims of IG Inam Ghani, the CTD failed to secure and collect evidence from the blast site as children were seen taking away vital parts of the suspected vehicles. The children were also seen playing with small parts of the vehicle collected from different streets and placed outside the cordoned off area. Soon after the blast outside the house of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, the parts of the suspected vehicles flew away even at a distance of 400 metres due to the high intensity of the blast.

The main garder of the vehicle was found in the street linking main BoR Society road. Children had gathered in the street and two of them picked up the vehicle parts and took it away to sell it in the market. The other small parts of the vehicle including door were also found in the street. None of the officers of the law-enforcement agencies bothered to gather those parts for forensic examination.

IG Inam Ghani had claimed comprehensive investigation into the incident, but the poor evidence collection had exposed the professional capacity of the force.Faraz Khan from Karachi adds: In a significant progress in the Jauhar Town Lahore blast case, the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) Friday claimed to have raided the residence of alleged mastermind in Karachi’s Mehmoodabad area.

“The raid was conducted on the night between Thursday and Friday,” a senior officer of the Sindh police confirmed to The News. “But no one was picked up during the raid.”

The officer said that the alleged mastermind was not present in the house during the raid. Only his family including a wife and a son were present, who were not taken into custody. However, the evidence including CNIC and driving licence were collected from his residence during the raid, said the officer.

It was reported that though Paul’s family had migrated to Karachi from Bahrain in 2010, he himself returned to Pakistan about one-and-a-half months ago. The alleged mastermind visited Lahore thrice and spent 27 days there collectively since his return to Pakistan, and he had been in contact with some individuals.

Investigators have also obtained his immigration data, which revealed that Paul had been in Bahrain for the past 25 years of his life and his CNIC is valid until April 22, 2029.

His birth year is 1964, with the current and permanent addresses mentioned as Mehmoodabad, and his driving licence had been issued from the Clifton branch. The immigration data further revealed that Paul worked in scrap and hotel lines back in Bahrain.