Five more firemen picked up in fresh raid KARACHI: Just days after a raid on the Manzoor Colony fire station, the law enforcement agencies targeted residential blocks of the Sohrab Goth fire station and picked up five employees of the fire department for their suspected involvement in the May 12 violence and other criminal activities, sources said.
With the recent move of the law enforcement agencies, the number of firemen, including officers, picked up during the past week has reached 14. But none of the agencies has claimed arrests of these suspects.
“The law enforcement agencies backed by the personnel of intelligence agencies raided different residential facilities of the Sohrab Goth fire station,” said a source citing details of the midnight raid.
“They didn’t go for a house-to-house search and targeted only particular apartments to pick their men. The total number of personnel taken away by the agencies [during the operation] stands at five. The families of those men then came out and talked to broadcast media to share details.”
The men picked up by the agencies were identified as Mairaj Khan, Farhatullah, Nasir, Zakir and Nazim. They were posted at Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) fire stations in different parts of the city. The one, Mairaj Khan, was officer in charge of KMC Emergency Response Centre (ERC) — a unit comprising lifeguards deployed in coastal areas.
“The recent move came as a follow up of last week raid on Manzoor Colony fire station where the law-enforcement agencies took away its officer Zafar Khan and other personnel of the department,” said the source.
The source added: “As there is no statement from any agency about these actions, it’s generally believed that these personnel were picked up on different charges including their role in May 12 violence and criminal activities on political and ethnic grounds.”
Four LJ suspects held
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of police claimed to have arrested four suspects allegedly associated with the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, who were wanted in several cases of killings, kidnapping for ransom and robberies.
“The suspects were arrested after an encounter in the Gulshan-i-Iqbal area,” said SSP SIU Farooq Awan. “They all are associated with the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. They have been identified as Azhar Hussain, Abdul Adeel, Kashif Ali and Syed Alam Ali Shah. They have killed several people between 2007 and 2014 on sectarian grounds.”
He said lately the group was actively involved in house robberies and kidnapping for ransom. And for that, he said, they pretended themselves policemen and to operate like this they had prepared fake uniforms, badges and even converted a vehicle into police mobile shape.
“One of the suspects had also close relation with one of the most wanted militants Ali bin Sufyan alias Mawia, whose real name is Safdar and he is said to be heading Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al-Almi,” said SSP Awan.
“Safdar is on the run and believed to be involved in several high-profile terrorist activities, including the killing of two military policemen in Karachi earlier this year and the killing of the then Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada in August 2015 bomb attack.
“However, so far our investigations suggest that the suspects we have arrested had no direct role in those activities.”
He said after initial probe, the SIU team had found the four suspects involved mostly in killing, kidnapping for ransom and house robberies. They generated funds through the criminal activities which they used to purchase arms and ammunition for their outfit,” he added.