CTD Arrests Jacobabad Bomb Attack Suspects
SUKKUR: The counter-terrorism department (CTD) in Jacobabad on Tuesday claimed to have arrested Jacobabad Bomb Attack suspects.
The suspects are said to be found involved in the planning the Oct 23 suicide bomb attack on the 9th Muharram procession in the Lashari Mohalla of the city. The attack had left 27 people dead and about 15 others wounded.
“A raid was carried out on a village in Garhi Khero taluka of Jacobabad district recently to arrest one of the suspects after he was found involved in planning the attack,” the officials said on condition of anonymity. They said more arrests were made but the investigation against them was under way.
The officials said that disclosure of the suspects’ name or identity would adversely affect the investigation and could cause their accomplices to escape. They argued that some suspects of the Shikarpur Imambargah bomb attack case had gone underground after the identity of arrested suspects was disclosed during the probe.
The CTD claim came on a day when almost all Shia organisations had planned to hold protest in the city against police’s failure to arrest those behind the suicide bomb attack.
All business, trade and commercial activities in the city were suspended within a couple of hours after people opened their workplaces.
Later in the day, businessmen, traders and shopkeepers in a large number took to the streets claiming that groups of club-wielding activists had forced them to observe a strike.
Jacobabad president of the Anjuman Tajiran Ittehad Mir Ahmed Ali Brohi, Hindu General Punchayat president and local traders’ leader Lal Chand Seetlani, Haji Mohammed Yousuf Memon and Hafiz Meer Mohammed Banglani led a protest rally that passed through various roads and streets and ended at the local press club, where a sit-in was held.
Speaking to the protesters, Mr Brohi said forcing people to pull down the shutters was uncalled for in the wake of an understanding between the Anjuman and Shia organisations under which the strike call for Tuesday was withdrawn. He said that a group of club-wielding activists harassed and intimidated traders and shopkeepers to enforce a shutdown.
The leaders expressed their grief and sorrow over the loss of 27 lives in the terrorist attack and said they had kept their businesses closed for five days in mourning and to express solidarity with the affected families and the Shia community.
They said the people of Jacobabad equally shared the grief and fully supported the Shia community’s demand for the arrest of the culprits. However, they said closure of businesses every now and then was not only causing great losses to traders and shopkeepers but also problems to the general public.
They said that a meeting between them and Shia community representatives had agreed to hold a city-wide protest without observing a closure over police’s failure to arrest the culprits. However, they regretted, some activists of a hard-line Shia organisation forced people to shut down their outlets and offices which were opened in the morning. They claimed that the club-wielding youths had entered the city from outside.
They also regretted that the unruly group enforced the strike despite an extraordinary deployment of police personnel across the city in view of the planned protest. Police did not intervene to check the youths at any place, they said.
They claimed that the Jacobabad deputy commissioner also remained indifferent towards their call for security.
Organisations hold protest
Stringent security measures were taken to maintain peace in the city on Tuesday in view of the protest planned by the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM), Shia Ulema Council (SUC), Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and other organisations.
DC Chowk was closed for vehicular traffic and strong police contingents were deployed at sensitive locations. Intensified patrolling by small police units across the city was done to keep an eye on anti-social elements.
A sit-in was held at DC Chowk by a large number of protesters.
Allama Ameen Shaheedi, Sahibzada Jawadul Hassan Kazmi, Allama Maqsood Ali Domki, Allama Mukhtar Ahmed Soomro and Abdullah Mutahari, as well as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Akram Abro, Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party activist Abdul Sattar Jagirani, Nizam Mastoi, PPP-SB leader Haji Ahmed Khoso and several others spoke to the protesters.
They observed that the provincial government and administrations of various districts as well as security agencies had failed to ensure safety and security of citizens. “Terrorists from Wana and other areas of Waziristan were setting up their safe havens in the upper Sindh areas and carrying out attacks against the Shia community at their whim but the security agencies seemed helpless in checking their movement and activities,” they said.
They urged the army chief to order a ruthless operation against terrorists and their facilitators to root out terrorism in this region.
Former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bukhsh Soomro also joined in the sit-in and spoke to the participants.
He told the protesters that holding rallies and sit-ins and raising slogans for security would not work in the prevailing situation. “You will have to keep a vigil around your houses and track down terrorists on your own. Don’t expect protection to your life and property from the government or its agencies as it has already proved itself inept,” he remarked.
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