KARACHI: Police on Wednesday claimed to have detained the prime suspect in the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar, the senior puisne judge of the Sindh High Court.
“On a tip-off police detained a suspect on whose lead a raid was conducted in Surjani Town late Tuesday night in which a key suspect of the attack on the judge was detained in injured condition after a serious encounter,” said DIG-South Dr Ameer Sheikh. He said the encounter lasted half an hour in which a policeman also received bullet wounds. The senior officer said that they had not expected such stiff resistance.
The driver of the senior judge and eight police guards were killed in a bomb blast on June 26 on busy Burnes Road near the Sindh High Court. Justice Baqar was admitted to a private hospital with serious injuries.
The bomb was planted in a motorcycle parked near a mosque. The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack saying that the judge had delivered “anti-Taliban and anti-Mujahideen judgements”.
The DIG-South said the held suspect, identified as Bashir Leghari, allegedly belonging to a banned outfit, was involved in other sectarian attacks also and was planning to carry out more such attacks. He said the wounded suspect was admitted to a hospital for treatment. The suspect died late on Wednesday night.
The DIG said a Kalashnikov, a 9mm pistol and explosive material were seized from him.
However, the family disputed the police version.
“Around 20 police mobiles pulled up outside our home in Sector 7-C, Surjani, at 3.45am,” said Muhammad Ahmed, a son of the held suspect. He alleged that the police fired a bullet in his father’s abdomen. A policeman snatched a pistol from his father and also shot and wounded a policeman to show the incident as an encounter.
He claimed that the policemen also took along his young brother and a guest from their home. He said later a Surjani police official told him that his father was admitted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment.
Meanwhile, the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat said the police raid on 60-year-old Hafiz Bashir Leghari’s home was regrettable. “In order to hide their own failure, the police have termed him the mastermind of the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar,” said ASWJ spokesman Maulana Akbar Saeed Farooqi in a press statement.
Hafiz Leghari was a local social leader, chairman of the Deoband action committee and businessman, he said. “Hafiz Leghari has nothing to do with the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi or any other militant group as he also remained in touch with the local administration with religious scholars of all parties.”
Contingents of police entered his home, injured Hafiz Leghari and also detained his son Muavia Leghari and guest Qari Amin, he said.
The ASWJ urged the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the incident.