LAHORE: Unidentified terrorists attacked Shezan factory on Saturday night with high-explosive blasts, leaving at least four people injured and causing damage to the building.
The assault on the Ahmadi-owned food factory took place at 10pm on Saturday. Glasses of various offices in the factory were broken and corrugated ceilings of sheds inside the factory were also blown. A big portion of the outer wall of the plant was also razed.
Investigators are pursuing the probe by keeping in view the May 28 twin blasts on Ahmadi places of worship – Darul Zikr at Garhi Shahu and Darul Noor at Model Town – in the city.
Police officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday that the factory management also suspected that they were being targeted because of their association with the Ahmadis.
Shera Kot police on complaint of Murad Ali, a manager of the factory, registered First Information Report (FIR) # 415/10 under sections 4/4 of Explosive Substance Act, section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act against unidentified terrorists. According to the FIR, they targeted to destroy the factory.
Waseem Ahmed, an official in the marketing department of Shezan factory, told The Express Tribune that obviously the terrorists who planted the bomb by the factory wall were accomplices of the attackers of their places of worship.
He said that at the time of the blasts there were around 100 workers inside the factory.
He said the plant runs round-the-clock and seven days a week and after the Saturday blasts, attendance in the factory was much less than usual. He said although the local police were cooperating with them but so far no accused had been arrested.
Muhammad Qamar, a worker at the factory, said a sense of fear has gripped the plant workers after the blast. Although it was being suspected the factory was targeted for its Ahmadi connection, but more than 80 per cent of its workers are non-Ahmadis.
He added that the explosion spread panic through the factory as everyone rushed to safe places after the blasts’ deafening sounds rent the air.
Allah Yar, an official of Bomb Disposal Squad, told The Express Tribune that it was a timed device but not a ‘cracker’ as claimed by the police. The device contained high explosive material no less than one kilogramme.
He said although the device was home-made, it left a 9-inch crater on a carpeted road. “How could it then be a cracker?” he wondered aloud.
Iqbal Town Superintendent of Police Capt (retired) Sohail said they have started a crackdown against the suspects in the area. “Some arrests have been made and soon the culprits will be unearthed.”
Published in the Express Tribune, June 14th, 2010.