Murree Road blasts: Another ‘key suspect’ acquitted after 12 days in custody

Police officials reprimanded for arresting three people without sufficient proof.

Asad Kharal August 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A key suspect of the roadside blast on Murree Road was acquitted on Sunday after spending 12 days in police custody. Two suspects arrested in connection with the case were also acquitted recently.

Qari Hafiz Ijaz, 26, a resident of Jasel, Thal was detained by Islamabad police from Shah Ashraf Baghdadi mosque, situated in Layyah city, where he served as a seminary teacher and prayer leader. Police sources informed that Ijaz was arrested for his alleged involvement in the roadside explosion on Murree Road, and also for making threatening calls and SMS messages to the Interior Minister Rehman Malik and police officials on August 2.

The investigating officer said that charges levelled against Ijaz could not be proved even after 12 days of interrogation and thorough examination of his cell phone call records.

Islamabad Secretariat Police reprimand the police officials for arresting the three persons without any sufficient proof.

Previously, two suspects arrested in connection with the Murree Road blast, Khadim Hussain and Mulazim Hussain, were acquitted by the Anti Terrorism Court No2 after charges levelled against them could not be proved. The two brothers were arrested from Serishta Nashiab, 16km from Layyah, for allegedly owning mobile sets used in making threatening calls and SMSs to the Interior Minister and Moharrar Police Station Aabpara, Islamabad.

Mobile set of Mulazim had allegedly been used for sending a threatening SMS to the Interior Minister, while Khadim’s mobile set had allegedly been used in the six-second call made to the Interior Minister on July 15, threatening him of “dire consequences if actions against terrorists are not stopped”.

Ijaz, the last freed suspect, was arrested for having close links with the original SIM card owner used in making the threatening calls and SMSs. He was forcibly lifted from near the mosque by as many as 10 police officials in civilian clothes riding three cars, said an eye witness, Faqir Ghulam Akber.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.

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