Tuesday December 06, 2022

Female suicide bomber who targeted Chinese teachers at KU was brainwashed by husband, says IO

September 29, 2022

The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts (ATC) has accepted a charge-sheet filed by the investigation officer (IO) in the case pertaining to the suicide blast at the University of Karachi that killed three Chinese teachers and their local driver in April this year.

The IO charge-sheeted Shari Hayat Baloch, alias Bramash, the female suicide bomber who targeted the Chinese tutors, her husband Habitan Bashir, commanders of the banned Balochistan Liberation Army’s (BLA) Majeed Brigade and their facilitators.

Habitan, the Majeed Brigade commanders – Bashir Zeb, Captain Rehman Gul, and Khalil Ahmed, alias Waja – and a BLA man, Mir Safeer, have been shown as absconders who are living abroad. A person with a code name Zeb and unidentified facilitators have also been placed in the charge sheet’s column of the absconding suspects.

Dad Bux, one of the alleged facilitators, has been listed as the only accused currently in judicial custody. Accepting the charge sheet, the judge transferred the case to the ATC-XVI for its disposal according to the law.

In the charge sheet, the IO stated that a video of Shari had emerged online before she blew herself up, wherein she alongside with her two children was seen wearing a suicide jacket covered with a black-coloured embroidered dupatta in a park. In the second part of the video, she can be seen recording a message for freedom of Balochistan in Balochi language.

The woman’s video and her husband’s Twitter posts provided strong reasons to believe that it was Habitan who not only made her join the separatist organisation but also brainwashed and helped her carry out the suicide attack, the IO said.

The incident could not have occurred without Shari’s husband brainwashing and facilitating her, he pointed out. During the course of the investigation, the officer said he recorded statements of witnesses under the Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and collected evidence, including CCTV footage, samples for DNA profiling and forensic reports.

He said Shari arrived in a rickshaw to the place of the incident from Delhi Colony where she had been staying in a rented apartment. The IO maintained that he along with a team of forensic experts from Lahore visited the flat as well as the room of a private hotel where Habitan had stayed and collected evidence and recorded statements of the relevant people. He said fingerprints found at the Delhi Colony flat where the suicide bomber stayed did not match with those of any citizen when checked with the National Database and Registration Authority’s record.

According to the charge sheet, Bux was arrested during a raid in the Mauripur road area on July 4. During interrogation, he confessed to have conducted reconnaissance at the behest of BLA commander Khalil and shared information with Habitan and commander Zeb. A prosecution witness also picked out the held suspect during an identification parade before a judicial magistrate.

A motorcycle used in the recce, mobile phones, grenades and other important evidence were also seized from his possession. The IO said he wrote a letter to Nadra requesting it to block the CNICs of the absconding accused, but the authority refused to do so without the relevant court’s order. As per intelligence sources and informers, he said, most absconders had moved abroad, particularly Afghanistan, and wanted to damage Pakistan’s ties with its neighbour China through terrorist activities.

In the light of the investigation he had carried out thus far, evidence collected and statements of prosecution witnesses, he found the accused guilty of committing the offences punishable under the sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempt to murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), and 34 (common intention), of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with the sections 3 and 4 of Explosive Substance Act, 1908, and the sections 7 (punishment for terrorism) and 21(i) (aid and abetment) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.