The Crime Investigation Department claimed to have arrested five alleged members of outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who they said were also involved in killings of the female polio workers and bomb blasts on Ayesha Manzil.
The accused, Ayub Khan, Bilal aka Mushtaq, Tauseef Ali aka Bhai Jan, Saifullah alias Mushtaq and Motim Khan, were arrested after an encounter with the CID police at their hideout in Ittehad Town.
Ayub, who is believed to be a group leader, was reportedly injured in the crossfire. A modified four-wheeler motorcycle for disabled persons that contained around 60 kilogrammes of explosive, two pressure cookers containing nine kilogrammes explosives each, nine cricket balls laden with explosives, 25 kilogrammes of explosives, five hand grenades, four Kalashnikovs, five 9mm pistols, detonating code and ammunitions were also found in their possession.
CID’s additional inspector general, Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh, accompanied by SSP Fayyaz Khan, SSP Chaudhry Aslam and SP Mazhar Mashwani, disclosed details of the arrests during a press conference held at the Central Police Office on Wednesday evening.
During the initial investigation, the accused reportedly confessed to being involved in the killing of two female polio workers in Karachi’s Ittehad Town and Orangi Town, said CID police chief, Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh.
In December 2012, four female polio workers were killed in Karachi on the same day – Naseem Akhtar in Orangi Town’s Toori Bangash Colony, Kaneez Fatima in Mohammad Khan Colony in Ittehad Town, and Fahmida and Madiha were shot dead in Gulshan-e-Bunair Landhi.
SSP Fayyaz Khan told The Express Tribune that the accused were also being interrogated about their links in the killings of the two workers in Landhi. He suggested that TTP’s Hakeemullah Mehsud group could be behind the attack.
CID officials said that the suspects also confessed to their involvement in the bomb blast on Ayesha Manzil. On January 1, as participants of a rally organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Minhajul Quran International, were boarding buses, a bomb went off on a motorcycle and killed at least four people.
“The army, police and political parties – all those against the Taliban are on the hit list,” said the Anti-Extremist Cell Chief SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan. “The suspect, Saifullah, is physically challenged and is the only who can get through a crowd and detonate his explosive laden four-wheeler bike.”
SSP Aslam told The Express Tribune that their ring leader, Ayub, was also involved in slaughtering about 35 army personnel in Swat.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2013.