Islamabad courts attack: Judge not shot with Kalashnikov, say police

Published: March 9, 2014
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A view of damage in district court in Islamabad after a gun-and-suicide attack on Monday, March 3, 2014. PHOTO: INP

A view of damage in district court in Islamabad after a gun-and-suicide attack on Monday, March 3, 2014. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: 

The capital police have claimed there was no evidence to suggest that the judge killed during last Monday’s gun-and-bomb attack on the Islamabad district courts was shot from long range by one of the armed attackers.

The evidence, the police said, corroborates earlier claims by the authorities that Additional District and Sessions Judge Rafaqat Awan was accidentally shot by his own official gunman, Babar Hussain.

The police have already arrested Hussain, a police security division official deputed for Awan’s security since January. On Friday, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad sent Hussain on physical remand for three days.

Conversely, the police claims about the cause of Awan’s death were largely being viewed as attempts to cover up a major security lapse in the capital, which led to the killing of 11 other people.

The brazen attack, in which unidentified armed men entered the district courts in broad daylight and terrorised the legal and judicial community with gunfire, hand grenade attacks and two suicide bomb blasts, also witnessed a slow response from the police.

The police issued a note on Saturday with details of evidence recovered from Awan’s chamber. The bullets that fatally injured the judge were allegedly shot from official revolver number 522228D, issued on January 23, according to the police.

The armed assailants who perpetrated the attack were believed to have used automatic weapons and AK-47s, according to initial investigations.

“There is no evidence of any distant gunshot of Kalashnikov 7.62 mm (used by terrorists) in the courtroom, on the door of the chamber or any wall inside the chamber,” the police statement said.

In the note, the police said the judge was shot inside the chamber and there was no blood trail to indicate he entered the chamber in an injured state.

The police claimed there was proof of only four gunshots fired inside the judge’s chamber: a contact shot on the door which suggests an entry size smaller than a 7.62 bullet, a shot from a revolver on the wooden wall of the chamber fired from inside, and two shots on the judge’s body.

The entry wound on Awan’s left forearm caused two injuries, the police said.

According to the police, the chest wound, which proved fatal, left a blackened mark on Awan’s vest, indicating a close-range shot. The police seem to have deduced that shot was from a small firearm, not a Kalashnikov, without sharing the sizes of all entry and exit wounds.

Three empty shells and a slug (lead-covered projectile) have been recovered from the crime scene, the police said in the statement. The official revolver of gunman Hussain, along with the shells and slug, has been dispatched to the National Forensic Science Agency for analysis.

Sources have claimed that Hussain denied the allegations that he accidentally shot the judge during an anti-terrorism court hearing on Friday.

Meanwhile, senior police officials would not comment on the investigation into the incident.

Forensic analysis of the blast site inside the courts compound had earlier revealed that the attackers used pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) in their suicide vests along with RDX and TNT. According to sources, previous suicide attacks in the capital had only used RDX and TNT, not PETN.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Parvez
    Mar 9, 2014 - 12:54PM

    Ahhh !…….the case of the magic bullet……again.

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  • Wali
    Mar 9, 2014 - 2:04PM

    Interior Minister had announced that the Judge died of accidental shooting well before it was made news by the Capital Police. Accidental shooting or not – it doesn’t lessen the cause or loss of the innocent lives. Is he saying that to Judge’s family or the other victims that theor lives don’e matter or they weren’t killed by murderous butchers.
    Nobody seems to know how many attackers were there and how, if they did, they managed to escape. Maybe Chaudhry Nisar can shed some light on that as well through!

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  • Dr.M.M.Khan
    Mar 9, 2014 - 4:52PM

    Who done it.? The mystery deepens. Not one but four accidental shots by a bodyguard? It defies
    explanation. We need Sherlock Holmes quickly on the scene not the interior minister. For him the case is solved—period. He is too busy planing a cricket match in the next four weeks.

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  • Jibran
    Mar 9, 2014 - 5:27PM

    Ch. Nisar must be fired. He continues to meddle With police investigations. His rule throughout his tenure has been criminal and treasonous. Charge sheet against him is huge.

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  • shahid
    Mar 9, 2014 - 5:41PM

    Bunch of LIES;

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  • faisal soofi
    Mar 9, 2014 - 7:34PM

    …..”it was i who shot the sherrif but i swear i did not know it was a capital offence”….smells & spells M.U.R.D.E.R. to me……between 3, 4, & 2 bullets we lost an Honorable Judge may his soul rest in peace !
    ….about PETN well as the story goes

    ‘On December 25, 2009, PETN was found in the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “Underwear bomber”, a Nigerian with links to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, he had attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 while approaching Detroit from Amsterdam. Abdulmutallab had tried, unsuccessfully, to detonate approximately 80 grams (2.8 oz) of PETN sewn into his underwear by adding liquid from a syringe; however, only a small fire resulted.’

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  • unbelievable
    Mar 9, 2014 - 10:59PM

    Being accidentally shot by his guard doesn’t mean that the police/govt should be let off the hook for not doing their job – especially when the Interior Minister overruled his own dept and told the Parliament days before that Islamabad was safe. In most countries the IM would have been asked to resign.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Mar 11, 2014 - 8:26PM

    PM and interior minister should not be asked to resign . Each and every person in Pakistan should be held responsible for the present state of affairs in the country .

    Islamic republic of Pakistan can never be a peaceful state . They are still trying to devide India particularly Kashmir on the name of religion . The result is that you are now a banana state . Now increase your defence budget and let people die out of famine .

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