Police are collecting information about youths reported missing or kidnapped as they seek to identify the young man who blew himself up, or was blown up, at Urdu Bazaar chowk last Tuesday, killing 13 people and injuring more than 75.
Inspector General of Police Javed Iqbal told reporters at the Police Training School in Chuhng that so far investigators had not come close to identifying the young man carrying the explosives or the people who sent him. He said fingerprints and DNA samples had been sent for tests and the results were awaited. “Our priority is to try to identify the youth so his relatives and friends can be interrogated,” he said.
The IG said that police were gathering data on all missing or kidnapped youngsters of up to 16 years of age.
This could lead them to the youth’s family. He said he may have fled from home and joined the terrorists voluntarily.
The city police have taken in some suspects for questioning, but they have not revealed any information about the attackers.
“We do not know the attacker(s). But we are investigating along different lines and hopefully will soon find the facilitators,” said Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Ijaz Shafi Dogar.
Screening for more Qadris
The IG told reporters that the provincial police force was being screened for extremists. Referring to the assassination of Governor Salmaan Taseer by his police guard Mumtaz Qadri, he said that the whole force should not be suspected because of one man. He said the Special Branch was conducting the screening and would complete it in one month.
He said every policeman had to give details about his family and himself during the screening process.
He said the Chuhng school did not train policemen in counter-terrorism measures. That training was given at the Bedian Elite School, he said.
The IG earlier addressed a passing out parade of 855 police personnel at the Police Training School.
They included 353 policewomen of the 4th Course, and 505 policemen of the 41st Lower Class Course.
He urged the graduates to be ready to make any sacrifice in the line of duty. He said they should keep in view the rights of the people.
He advised them to adopt a friendly attitude to the public. If they adopt a dictatorial attitude, he said, they would be abusing their power and lose public sympathy.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2011.