KARACHI: In the first search operation since the identification of 49 madressahs suspected to have links with ‘terrorist organisations’ in Sindh, police seized Jihadi literature and posters belonging to a banned militant organisation from the hostel of one of the seminaries, it emerged on Thursday.

The law enforcers conducted a search of three madressahs in Karachi’s West district and one in East district and arrested one person in possession of the Jihadi literature inside the seminary.

“We searched Jamia Binoria in SITE, Masjid and Madressah Al-Badar in Qasba Colony and Masjid and Madressah Al-Mustafa in Orangi Town,” SSP west Azfar Mahesar told Dawn. The police also searched Madressah Jamia Farooqia in Shah Faisal Colony.

Police arrest one suspect in the first round of seminaries search operation

“During the search of the Madressah Al-Mustafa hostel, we seized some Jihadi literature found in one of its rooms. There were also some posters and stuff of the banned organisation. All those were seized,” the officer said, adding that the exercise largely remained smooth with the cooperation of the administration of each madressah.

The SSP said the police investigated and identified the student who had actually carried the literature into the room. After verification and thorough counterchecks, it was proved that the literature belonged to that student, he said, claiming that the police took him into their custody.

“It’s basically Jihadi literature, not the kind that triggers sectarian hatred,” said SSP Mahesar, adding that investigation was under way to find any possible “links of the presence of the literature inside the madressah with its administration or other students”.

The police booked and arrested the student under Section 153-A of the Pakistan Penal Code. Titled “promoting enmity between different groups,” Section 153-A of the PPC reads: “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or incites, or attempts to promote or incite, on grounds of religion, race, place of both, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”

The Sindh home department had identified 49 madressahs having alleged links with ‘terrorist organisations’ against whom the ‘relevant authorities’ were told to take action last month. The madressahs were identified on intelligence reports.

The officials claimed to have shared the information with both the Rangers and Sindh police for ‘appropriate action’ against them. How­ever, the Pakistan Rangers, which were leading the ‘targeted operation’ in Karachi, were not part of the search operation of the madressahs.

A senior official while wishing not to be named confirmed that the police handled the entire exercise on their own and the operation would continue under the National Action Plan. “West district is quite vulnerable as it has been identified with 12 madressahs which are mentioned in the Sindh home department’s report,” said the official.

“Three of them are done with the search and the same exercise will be carried out at the remaining ones soon. The Rangers are expected to join the police in the next phase, but if they don’t the police will do that on their own,” he added.

In East district, the same search operation was conducted at Madressah Jamia Farooqia in Shah Faisal Colony. The officials said the exercise included verification of students’ identity, enrolment record and accounts to trace their financial resources.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2015

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