KARACHI: The Karachi police chief claimed on Sunday that the police seized weapons “stolen from Nato containers” from 11 suspects who were accompanying former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference, Additional Inspector General of Police Ghulam Qadir Thebo also claimed that the police prevented a possible bloodshed at the Sindh High Court on Saturday by arresting armed supporters of the former home minister.
“Commandos of the special security unit, under a strategy and in a professional manner, arrested 11 armed supporters of the former home minister and prevented the bloodshed,” he added.
On Saturday, masked and armed policemen in civvies beat Dr Mirza’s guards at the SHC building and then turned to journalists covering the violent episode. They smashed parked vehicles and snatched cameras from journalists.
The city police chief told reporters that the police got information that Dr Mirza was coming to the SHC for his bail extension. “We had also received reports that terrorists were also accompanying him,” he said.
He said that contingents of police were deployed there and when the former home minister went inside the SHC, 11 suspects “attacked” the police, but the SSU commandos overpowered and arrested them.
Accompanied by DIG-South Dr Jamil Ahmed and SSP-South Chaudhry Asad Ali, Mr Thebo said the suspects were travelling in three SUVs.
He said 16 weapons of different types were seized from the held suspects and some of them were “stolen” from Nato containers.
Later, the SSP-South told Dawn that the seized weapons included four G-3 rifles, seven sub-machine guns, pistols and 1,500 bullets.
He said that one prohibited bore weapon, M-4, was also found in the custody of the held suspects and it appeared that it was stolen from a Nato container.
The SSP said that a case was registered against the supporters of the former home minister at the Preedy police station on behalf of the state.
They were booked under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code pertaining to police encounter, attempted murder, rioting and creating hurdles for police in performing its duty.
Earlier, journalists staged a protest during the press conference of the city police chief and chanted slogans against the police for beating their colleagues during the Saturday episode at the SHC.
However, they ended the protest after Mr Thebo assured them that a case would be registered against the policemen responsible.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2015