KARACHI: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has threatened to kill all family members of the slain anti-terror police officer, Shafiq Tanoli, the family claimed on Sunday.
Tanoli, an encounter-specialist, was killed along with three others in a bomb blast near his house at Pakhtun Chowk , Old Sabzi Mandi, on Thursday morning. This was the eighth attempt on his life.
Four months ago, on December 20, 2013, Tanoli was severely injured in an attack on the same spot. Police investigators believe Shamzai, the chief operational commander of the TTP’s Mohmand chapter, masterminded both the attacks.
“I know the whole story,” the slain officer’s brother, Rasheed Tanoli, who is also a cop, told The Express Tribune. “We have been receiving threats from the TTP.”
Rasheed claimed he had also received a threatening letter from the TTP a day earlier. “This fight will not end with Shafiq’s death,” said Rasheed, quoting the letter. “It will continue until not a single man in his family remains alive.”
In November 2013, Tanoli had killed two of Shamzai’s close relatives in an alleged encounter in Baldia Town. Both terrorists had been arrested a week earlier by Rangers and had been handed over to the police. Their arrests had also been disclosed in a press conference by District West police chief DIG Javed Odho at his office. They were accused of killing at least 16 police officials and four police informers in SITE and its adjoining areas.
The alleged terrorists had been detained in the lockup of Mochko police station from where they managed to escape. They made their way to Baldia Town after escaping from the lockup by breaking the windows. The police managed to follow them and both were killed in an encounter a few hours later.
Sources said that the alleged terrorists were killed in a pre-planned encounter and that the police killed them to avenge the killings of 16 of their colleagues. Sources further said that after the killings, Shamzai had threatened Tanoli and other police officials to avenge the deaths of his relatives in a fake encounter.
“It seems Shamzai’s operatives were closely monitoring Tanoli and attacked him after they knew exactly where he would be at what time,” a senior police officer told The Express Tribune.
On the same day of Shafiq’s killing, the slain officer’s brother, Rasheed, had blamed the senior police accused of withdrawing security deployed for Shafiq and warned he would nominate them in the FIR. After the passage of four days, however, the police have registered the case on behalf of the state.
According to the family, they did not wish to register the case after the senior officials built pressure on them. “Shafiq was a brave man,” said a close relative. “He fought with the Taliban but we cannot fight with them. We decided not to register the case after the pressure by both the police higher-ups and the Taliban.”
An FIR, No. 46/14, under Sections 302/324/120, 427/5 and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was registered on behalf of the state against unidentified persons. “After the family refused, we registered an FIR on our behalf,” DSP Nasir Lodhi told The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, police investigators have been unable to identify the suspected bomber. DSP Lodhi said that not only the police, but other agencies too were doing their best to arrest the culprits. He said that the family has been provided with 30 policemen for security.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2014.