In a major breakthrough, law enforcement agencies probing Tuesday’s deadly suicide bombing at the University of Karachi (KU) that claimed the lives of three Chinese faculty members and a Pakistani van driver have raided the apartment where the female suicide attacker, Shari Baloch, was living in the city as well as the house of her father.
Investigators have also started compiling record of the people on the friends’ lists of the suicide attacker and her husband on social media to get assistance in investigating the case.
Earlier, the police investigators had arrested the rickshaw driver who had transported the attacker to the university and a car driver for possible connection with the case. However, both of them have been released after they were found not involved in the case.
Four persons, including a Chinese teacher and a Rangers official, were also injured in the suicide attack.
On Thursday, the investigators raided the house of Shari’s father located in a residential society in Scheme 33. “Some material such as laptops and documents were seized during the raid,” a senior police officer said requesting anonymity.
According to neighbours of the house, the family resided in the house seemed to be a noble and highly educated family and they rarely met the neighbouring people, while people having government registration number plates used to visit them.
A wedding ceremony of the suicide bomber’s sister, Asma, who is said to be a PhD, was also held at the house a few days ago. The suicide bomber had seven siblings.
Earlier, security agencies raided an apartment which the suicide bomber had rented in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of the city. The investigators also found some important documents belonging to the bomber’s husband during the raid. Her husband, Haibatan, originally from Kech, was recently doing a public health course at the Jinnah Medical and Dental College and staying at a nearby hotel on Sharea Faisal.
Haibatan had also shared a photo on social media after the blast, depicting him and Shari with their children showing a victory sign.
According to residents of some neighbouring apartments, the suicide bomber had rented the apartment about three to four years ago, and she and her husband seldom visited it. They said that the couple had never spoken to them and Haibatan rarely visited the flat in a car bearing a government registration number of Balochistan.
“After the raids, both the places were thoroughly searched and evidence was collected. Afterwards, both the houses were sealed,” the security officer explained.
Investigators have also started to compile record of the people connected with the suicide bomber and her husband on social media.
Driver’s funeral prayers
The funeral prayers for Khalid, the Pakistani van driver killed in the blast, were offered on Thursday. His body was wrapped in a green-flag. It was handed over to his family after the DNA collection process was completed.
The body was brought to his residence in Gulshan-e-Maymar where his funeral prayers were offered at a nearby mosque. A large number of people attended the prayers.
Later, he was laid to rest amid tears and sobs. The government of Sindh has announced Rs1 million for the bereaved family and a government job for one person of in the family.
On Tuesday, an explosion triggered by a burqa-clad woman suicide bomber from the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) ripped through a van of the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi, leaving three Chinese teachers and a Pakistani van driver dead.
Following the incident, the banned BLA took to social media to claim responsibility of the attack and announced that the bomber was a woman named Shari Baloch who was a highly educated mother of two young children belonging to a well-established family and working as a schoolteacher in Turbat. Two separate high-level teams of the Karachi police and Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) are investigating the attack. One of them is headed by the Criminal Investigation Agency DIG and the other by the CTD DIG.
VC reviews security
University of Karachi (KU) Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nasira Khatun on Thursday visited all the entrances and exits of the varsity and examined the boundary walls.
She was accompanied by Acting Registrar Dr Maqsood Ali Ansari, Campus Security Adviser Dr Muhammad Zubair and his team. They gathered information about the security situation and vowed to take concert measures to further strengthened security. According to a statement issued by the KU public relations office, the varsity security incharge also checked CCTV cameras at various places on the campus.
The acting VC issued instructions to the internal security guards to tighten security, check every vehicle, and not allow entry without a pass issued by the KU security office. “Every possible step should be taken to make security foolproof at the campus,” she remarked, adding that the patrolling system on campus should be made more efficient and the security arrangements at the KU entrances and exits tightened.
She said the purpose of the visit was to provide information to the federal and provincial governments, and the HEC about the security issues of the KU.