Nanga Parbat probe: One terror suspect nabbed, say police

The accused was hiding in a Chilas house for some days.

Shabbir Mir/peer Muhammad July 01, 2013
The accused was hiding in a Chilas house for some days. PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/HUNZAGUIDESPAKISTAN


Gilgit police on Sunday claimed a major breakthrough in the Nanga Parbat shootings after it arrested one of the 16 men believed to be involved in the killing of 10 foreign tourists and their cook on the night of June 21.

Deputy Inspector General Police (DIG) Ali Sher, who is leading the investigation, told The Express Tribune via telephone that police raided a house in Chilas and arrested ‘Shafi Muhammad’ earlier identified and nominated in the First Information Report (FIR).

According to Sher, on the basis of intelligence reports, police raided a house in Chilas where the person had been hiding for some days.

The police official said the perpetrator belonged to Diamer district and had been involved in ‘other such activities’ as well. “The police have their own investigation procedures to reach perpetrators who were involved in the killings of mountaineers,” the DIG added.

Sher also said the police as well as the intelligence agencies, peace jirga and other agencies were working side by side and hoped to nab all the suspects soon.

However, Shafiq’s brother, Abdul Wahid insists the alleged militant is an employee of the G-B Agriculture Department. He said as official proof of his brother’s innocence, a letter, signed by the head of the office he works at, has been submitted to the police.

Wahid said they belong to a poor family and have no links with militancy.

Last week, Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief secretary and inspector general of police had disclosed the names and identities of 16 people who were allegedly involved in the crime. According to the authorities, 10 of the accused individuals belonged to the Diamer Valley, three to Mansehra and the rest were from Kohistan.

Meanwhile, the Diamer jirga, which is assisting the authorities in arresting culprits, claimed that the accused voluntarily surrendered to police. Diamer Jirga Chief Qazi Innayatullah said the name of the arrested person was on the secret agencies’ list and he himself went to police to prove his innocence.

He said agencies had put names of all those people who had been involved in any kind of militancy or other crimes in the past rather than on the basis of their direct involvement in the killing of trekkers. “We are doubtful in this regard and believe that the list is not authentic.  “These people could be involved in sectarian violence but they can’t be blamed for attack on foreigner guests as tribal people respect their guests,” he maintained.

However, the jirga planned to approach the families of those identified and nominated in the case and persuade them to hand the persons over to the authorities so that their innocence could be proved, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2013.



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