Investigation underway: Police search for missing weapons irks residents of Munda Bheri

Claim pictures have already been given to police yet it is unable to take action.


Jamshed Baghwan July 29, 2013
On April 16, ANP senior leader Ghulam Bilour was targeted in a suicide blast in Yakatoot which killed 17 people. Bilour narrowly escaped. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Residents of Munda Bheri have complained about Kutwali police’s continued search operations in the locality during its hunt for government-issued weapons, which were stolen after the suicide attack on Ghulam Ahmad Bilour in April.

On April 16, Bilour was scheduled to address Awami National Party activists in Yakatoot as part of his election campaign. However, as soon as he stepped out of the vehicle, a suicide bomber detonated, killing 17 people, including SHO Abid Khan, sub-inspector Hussain and two constables.

In the aftermath of the explosion the weapons carried by the deceased police officials and two other guards of the Railway Police who had been assigned to the former minister for railways went missing.  The weapons included AK-47s and SHO Khan’s pistol.

Police launched a campaign in the area to identify the culprits and to recover the stolen weapons. With the help of residents, police was able to recover two AK-47s that belonged to Bilour’s guards and return them to the railways department.

However, the weapons belonging to the deceased constables and SHO remained missing. Last week, Hashtnagri DSP Riazul Islam issued notices and summoned 17 residents, who were present at the ANP meeting, for further investigations.

Requesting anonymity, a local elder said residents had already provided pictures to police of the culprits who had picked up weapons and other valuables from the site of the blast.

“The pictures were captured via cell phones and with their help police succeeded in locating the railways guards’ AK-47s. However, they remain unable to take action against the culprits in the picture,” he said, adding there was even the photograph of the person who loosened SHO Khan’s holster and stole his pistol.

A source within the Bilour House said when residents received the police notice to appear they complained to the former minister. Bilour then contacted senior officials to protect residents from another interrogation.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.

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