Investigations: Safoora attack suspects’ remand extended

The suspects have been implicated in several other cases of violence and terrorism

Our Correspondent June 29, 2015
The suspects have been implicated in several other cases of violence and terrorism. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court extended on Monday the remand of suspects who allegedly carried out the attack on the bus transporting members of the Ismaili community in Safoora Goth, killing 45 people in May, earlier this year.

Three suspects — Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Saien, Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin, and Asadur Rehman, who allegedly provided transport to the assailants — were presented before the ATC-I in the main case.

They were brought to the court in armoured personnel carriers amid tight security and were escorted by a large contingent of police commandos. Since the summer vacations are being observed, only three of the 10 ATCs were functioning on Monday. It took hours for the suspects to be presented before the judge as the trial was conducted by link court. Whenever the judge of a court is not available, the necessary trials are conducted by link courts as provided by the judicial rules.

The investigating officer pleaded the judge to grant him more time to interrogate the suspects and submitted the progress that was made during the previous remand. The three suspects were first remanded in the case on June 13, nearly a month after their arrest was reported.

The incharge judge of ATC-I, Akhlaque Hussain Larik, approved the investigation officer's plea, granting him the suspects' custody for two more weeks on physical remand. The suspects have also been implicated in a number of cases of policemen killings, school bombings and sectarian attacks reportedly based on their confessions during investigation.

Recently, Aziz, who is the youngest among the suspects and is facing the most charges, was identified by an eyewitness in the Professor Debra Lobo attack case as the main assailant who fired shots at the US national. Lobo, the vice-principal at the Jinnah Medical and Dental College, was seriously injured in the drive-by shooting.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.