Police begin probe into graffiti about IS

Published November 11, 2014
This picture shows motorists driving past an empty police check post with graffiti which reads as “ISIS” along a street on the outskirts of Karachi. —AFP/file
This picture shows motorists driving past an empty police check post with graffiti which reads as “ISIS” along a street on the outskirts of Karachi. —AFP/file

KARACHI: The recent ‘wall chalking’ in support of Islamic State fighting in Iraq and Syria has sent a ripple of concern through the security administration, causing it to begin an investigation into the possible presence of the militant outfit in the city.

“Police have started a probe into the wall chalking in the city,” said Karachi East DIG Munir Ahmed Shaikh while answering a question during a press conference at the SSP-East office, where he announced the killing of a wanted kidnapper in an alleged encounter.

Read: IS recruiting thousands in Pakistan, govt warned in 'secret' report

Asked about the graffiti in Karachi in support of IS, also known by its Arabic acronym Daish, the DIG admitted that such chalking had been seen within the jurisdiction of the Jamshed Quarters and Sohrab Goth police stations. It merely stated that IS had arrived in the city, he added.

“No concrete evidence has been found so far that could suggest the presence of IS, or Daish, in the metropolis,” said Munir Shaikh. Nor any person had been detained for having links with the outfit, he said.

Also read: Islamic State fears grow in Pakistan and Afghanistan

“Such wall chalking does not appear to have been carried out in an organised manner.” He said it might be mere ‘mischief’ by certain elements.

However, DIG Shaikh said the police had started a probe into it to know about the possible presence of the outfit here.

KU dean murder case

Munir Shaikh said the police had found certain similarities in the targeted killing of Prof Dr Muhammad Shakeel Auj, dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies of the University of Karachi, on Sept 18 and Tariq Road’s autoparts dealer Mehboob Ali Rehmani on Oct 30.

“The modus operandi in both cases appears to be the same,” said the DIG-East while speaking at a press conference and later talking to Dawn.

Also read: KU dean Shakeel Auj shot dead

SSP-East Syed Pir Mohammed Shah said a ‘sharpshooter’ carried out both murders as a single bullet was fired that killed the target without hurting anyone else travelling in the same car. The DIG said that after an initial probe the police had ruled out the possibility of involvement of KU faculty members or NED university officials.

“We are now focussing on involvement of possible Jihadi elements in the murder of the KU professor,” said the DIG.

Kidnappers’ ‘ringleader’ killed

The DIG-East said the police on Monday morning killed Qalandar Bakhsh, alias Qalandru, wanted in 40 cases of murder and kidnapping for ransom, including those of members of the Hindu community.

He was the ‘ringleader’ of a kidnappers’ gang active in several districts of Sindh and the Sindh government had announced a Rs2 million reward for his arrest. The police had received information that Qalandar Bakhsh frequently visited Karachi and for the last one and half months a police party had been deployed for his arrest.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2014

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