ISLAMABAD: The capital police on Saturday claimed to have tracked down an explosive-laden car which they were hunting after Eidul Fitr.
Although the police claimed that they thwarted a plot to carry out a terrorist activity in the city, many officers in the department were surprised that the recovery was made from the house of a senior police officer’s brother early in the morning.
The police officer enjoyed good reputation among his colleagues for his honesty but had developed differences with his seniors, said sources in the police.
The senior officer was an eyesore for many, including legislators and bureaucrats, they added. Once he put up resistance against then SSP Wisal Fakhar Sultan when both were posted in Rawalpindi.
When Mr Sultan directed his subordinates not to register cases to show a decrease in crime, the senior officer resisted his move.
Besides, he also put a friend of then chief minister Punjab behind bars in connection with a murder case. Since then the police officer has not been given any operational post, the sources added.
The police, however, issued three statements about the recovery of the car that contradicted each other.
First they said they got information from an intelligence agency about the presence of the explosive-laden car at Simly Dam Road. A raid was conducted there which led to the recovery of the Alto VXR near Kalma Chowk.
Later, they claimed that the vehicle was found outside a house. However, the police again changed their statement and said the car was found parked inside the house.
The police said they had been alerted soon after Eidul Fitr that an explosive-laden car would enter the capital city.
They also claimed that the car was non-customs paid despite the fact that it was locally made, not an imported vehicle.
After spotting the car, the bomb disposal squad (BDS) was called who reached the spot and examined the vehicle, said the police. The BDS found a large quantity of explosive along with four detonators and a detonation code.
They disconnected the detonators after hours’ long efforts. Later, the car was shifted to Bhara Kahu police station. The sources said the explosive weighed about 175 kilogrammes and contained ball bearings.
A laptop was also recovered from the car and sent to the FIA cyber crime for analysis.
Later, the police picked the owner of the house, the brother of the senior police officer, who lived there along with his family. But till the filing of this report at 10pm no formal arrest had been made. A case was registered against the owner. Later, in the FIR the police, however, stated that the accused escaped from the scene.
The police said the accused was an active member of LJ about six to seven years back and had left his house. He was later brought back by his brother and father.
Police officers were found reluctant to talk officially on the matter but they claimed that the car was owned and registered in the name of the man from whose house it was recovered. It was brought to Islamabad three to four days back from Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency, they added.
The police said Maulna Nazir group of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TPP) had planned to carry out the terrorism act.
The police also claimed that the suicide bomber who was to drive the explosive-laden car for a strike on a sensitive installation in the red zone was yet to reach Islamabad.
But it seemed intriguing that the police in less than 12 hours after the recovery of the car arrested the ‘accused’ and established his links with the banned outfit. It also found out when and from where the car had reached Islamabad and for what purpose it was made an explosive laden. It is also unclear how the accused escaped from the police custody before he was interrogated for his alleged crime.