No trace of militants who escaped central jail

Prisoners shaved their beards before fleeing, says officer


Our Correspondent June 17, 2017
Main gate of Karachi Central Jail. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD SAQIB/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Three days have passed since two militants of a banned outfit escaped the Central Jail, Karachi but authorities have yet to trace the fugitives.

However, the authorities have learnt that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants escaped the prison after having their beards shaven.

"They went to the judicial complex where they shaved their beards before fleeing the jail," said Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) SSP Omar Shahid Hamid while talking to The Express Tribune. "Later, they escaped after cutting the complex's iron rods."

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SSP Hamid was of the view that an unidentified person was facilitating them in the complex. "We are working on the case from two different angles - the first is recapturing the militants, while the second is finding out who the facilitators are, as the escaped prisoners definitely had internal support," explained SSP Hamid. "We are also questioning their comrades to get any possible clue about them."

On Tuesday night, two hardcore militants of the LeJ - Shaikh Muhammad Mumtaz alias Firon alias Sher Khan alias Shahzad alias Bhai and Muhammad Ahmed Khan alias Munna - escaped from Central Jail, Karachi. Munna had been reportedly serving a 14-year-imprisonment. Both of them belonged to the Hafiz Qasim Rasheed and Sabir Munna groups of the LeJ. These groups are considered the most dangerous of sectarian militant outfits and have been involved in various high profile terrorism cases.

Following their escape, a dozen jail officials, including Prison Superintendent Ghulam Murtaza Shaikh, Deputy Superintendent Fahim Memon and Assistant Superintendent Abdul Rehman Shaikh, were suspended and later arrested for negligence.

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While talking to the media at the Sindh Assembly building on Friday, Minister for Law and Prisons Ziaul Hasan Lanjar said he took immediate notice of the escape and cases against a dozen jail officials have been registered so far. "Insiders and outsiders may have been involved," he suspected. "A committee headed by CTD AIG Sanaullah Abbasi has been formed to investigate the matter, he said, adding that those found guilty in the case would be punished according to the law. He also pointed out that the judicial complex was under construction, which facilitated the suspects' escape.

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