Three TTP supporters involved in KU blast held

Karachi:Police said on Wednesday they had arrested three Karachi University dropouts — now militants supportive of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — for being allegedly involved in carrying out a bomb blast on the university’s campus last month.
The arrests — made after an encounter by personnel of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) — show how far the tentacles of militancy have spread in the country and even the highest seats of learning are not safe.

According to the police, the three suspects were former activists of a student organisation, Islami Jamiat Talaba, and formed their own group naming it “Punjabi Mujahideen”.

SSP Raja Omer Khattab, chief of the SIU Karachi, said that on December 28, 2010 an explosion took place on the KU campus near the university’s cafeteria. The explosive device had been planted beside a tree in a garden where ISO activists and others had gathered to offer the Zohrain prayers.

The blast left three ISO activists wounded and created fear among the students of the university. An investigation was launched and transferred to the SIU unit.

During the course of investigation, an informant informed SSP Khattab that the suspects were escaping in a Hi-roof car via Hub River Road, Mauripur.

He immediately sent an SIU team after the suspects, who opened fire when the team intercepted them near Lucky Pehari.

An encounter began as the police returned the fire, which led to the arrests of Mohammad Omer alias Chota, Hafeezullah alias Bilal and Syed Faiz Ali.

The police also recovered one Kalashnikov, two repeaters, two TT pistols and two hand grenades from their possession. The three men were then shifted to the interrogation unit.

During the preliminary interrogation, it was found that the suspects were former KU students and IJI activists who did not complete their education.

The interrogators further learnt that the three men got militancy training in Miranshah and Oogi areas of the tribal region of Waziristan. They were trained in operating rocket launchers, machineguns, TT pistols and hand grenades, and they also had expertise in dismantling and re-assembling these weapons, according to the police.

SSP Khattab said the arrested militants told the interrogators that in 2007 some IJT activists formed a group at the KU and named it “Punjabi Mujahideen” after the IJT expelled them because they had developed differences with the policies of the Jamaat-i-Islami and were inspired by Dr Akmal Waheed and Dr Arshad Waheed. The group recruited 150 activists.

The alleged objectives of the militants belonging to the Punjabi Mujahideen were to fight against Pakistan’s security forces and support the outlawed TTP.

They arrested suspects further disclosed that on November 25, 2010 they gathered at the residence of Ehsaan in the Buffer Zone area for dinner along with their supporters identified as Abdul Hafeez, Shahid Khan and Faiz. It was there that they planned to attack the worship place of the ISO activists in the KU.

SSP Khattab said the alleged perpetrators had made a video of the place and then on December 26 planted a remote control bomb in the form of a cement block beside a tree.

On December 28 Omer, a companion of the suspects, detonated the bomb using a cellphone when ISO activists and other students had been gathering to offer the Zohrain prayers.

The bomb was allegedly prepared by Shahid Khan, another companion of the suspects and resident of the Gulshan-i-Hadeedh area.

The police further learnt that the arrested suspects’ other companions, Zohair Imtiaz Kudwai, Omair Imtiaz Kudwai, Azib Imtiaz Kudwai, Misbah Usmani, Mohammad Shabbir, Imran Nazeer, Samiullah and others, were killed in a drone attack in Waziristan.

SSP Khattab said the rest of the held suspects’ companions were residing in Model Colony, Gulshan-i-Hadeedh, Baldia Town, Nazimabad and Shadman areas, and raids were under way for their arrests.The news