Family members of alleged militant Ijaz Khan have negated the police’s claim of arresting him after a shootout which reportedly left six law enforcement personnel injured.
Khan’s wife, Raheela Bibi, told the media on Friday she and her family were asleep when police barged into their house between the night of Wednesday and Thursday and dragged Khan out of bed.
Bibi added one of the policemen’s gun went off while they were dragging Khan and the bullets ricocheted off the concrete floor and hit some policemen. “Not one single bullet was fired by my husband or any other family member,” she claimed, adding the allegations were baseless.
Bibi added after the accidental shooting, Abbottabad district police officer told her to wash the floor – which was covered in blood stains – and she did so right away.
Khan’s wife also refuted police’s claim that he was an activist of a banned outfit and had been helping Qari Saqib, an alleged high-profile militant, hide in his house.
According to Bibi, Khan earned his living by running a poultry farm in his village, Nika Pani Mangal, and had no connection with any banned outfit or militants.
“If my husband is a terrorist then why would he be staying at home with us when he knew that another member of our family, Ashraf Khan, was earlier arrested allegedly with arms,” said Bibi, adding he would have moved away instead. She accused the police of harassing her family and causing them anguish.
Ijaz Khan’s relative Nasir Khan said police had surrounded the entire village when they had come to raid Khan’s house. “How is it possible that Qari Saqib managed to escape the small area after shooting policemen?” he questioned, insisting the police had wrongly implicated Khan.
Waseem Khan, another relative, alleged police officials were fabricating the encounter because if Khan was a militant, the policemen’s wounds would’ve been fatal.
Waseem denied Khan or any of his family members were involved in the attack on Pakistan Military Academy Kakul last year or the bank robbery in Manshera in August as the police claimed they were.
“After the so-called operation, police arrested around 11 members of our family, including Usman Ali Khan and Omar Ali Khan, sons of Mustafa Khan Jadoon, provincial leader of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat,” said Waseem.
During a pre-dawn raid on Thursday, police had arrested Ijaz Khan after a shoot-out which allegedly resulted in bullet wounds sustained by Superintendent Police Headquarters Faisal Mukhtar, Deputy Superintendent Police Hafiz Janas, Sub-Inspector Abdul Qayum, a constable and two personnel belonging to intelligence agencies.
Additionally, police also claimed to have recovered four hand grenades, an AK-47 and 80 live rounds while Qari Saqib was dubbed the mastermind behind the Mansehra bank robbery and PMA Kakul attack and a member of Emaraat-e-Islami, a sub-group of proscribed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
Meanwhile, the 11 arrested members of Khan’s family were shifted to an unknown location for further investigation while Khan was produced before an anti-terrorism court in Abbottabad. The judge granted police a seven-day physical remand of Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2013.
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