ISLAMABAD: A cleric of Lal Masjid and 54 other people were arrested during an operation jointly conducted by security agencies, Rangers and the capital police in the rural area of the capital on Tuesday.

However, the cleric was later released on a personal surety.

The police said Amir Siddiqi, the naib khateeb of Lal Masjid, was taken into custody after three Kalashnikovs were recovered from his possession during the search of a religious seminary located near the Bhara Kahu police station. The police said the seminary was being operated by Mr Siddiqi on the premises of a private school.

When the cleric failed to produce the licences of the weapons, he was shifted to the police station. After a few hours, however, some locals came to the police station with the licences. The police kept the licences for verification and released the cleric.

When contacted, a spokesman for the Lal Masjid Shuhada Foundation confirmed the arrest of Mr Siddiqi after the recovery of three Kalashnikovs from him. “The search operation was conducted all over Bhara Kahu, including Amir Siddiqi’s residence there,” he added.

“When I talked to the Rangers’ spokesman early in the evening, he said the cleric would be released.” Later, he added, Dr Abid Orakzai, a close aide to Mr Siddiqi, reached the police station and the police released the cleric.

Besides, the search operation was also conducted in Madina Town, Mera Begwal, Athal and PTV Colony of Bhara Kahu.

During the operation, 54 people, including some Afghan nationals, were taken into custody and shifted to different police stations for further investigation. During the operation, a huge cache of weapons, including 19 12-bore guns and 108 rounds, five SMGs along with 1,512 rounds, three 9mm pistols and 50 rounds, a 44-bore gun and 31 rounds, a 22-bore rifle and its 300 rounds, two 7mm rifles and its 19 rounds, 18 30-bore pistols and 200 rounds, a 32-bore revolver and its 18 rounds, a 45-bore pistol and 10 daggers were recovered.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2016

Opinion

Editorial

Updating the economy
22 Jan, 2022

Updating the economy

GDP rebasing doesn’t make countries or people richer; it is just about updated data for policymakers to make informed decisions.
22 Jan, 2022

Covid curbs

CONSIDERING the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the country over the past few days, the government decided on...
22 Jan, 2022

Cricket hope

SIX Pakistan players named across three teams of the year announced by the ICC is a testament to an uplifting 2021...
Emergency rumours
21 Jan, 2022

Emergency rumours

ISLAMABAD is once again in the grip of rumours. The latest issue finding traction revolves around a mysterious...
TTP attack
Updated 21 Jan, 2022

TTP attack

MONDAY night’s assault on a police party in Islamabad, which left one cop dead and two injured, marks a ...
21 Jan, 2022

Murree suspensions

ON Wednesday, the Met Office issued a red alert for more heavy snowfall in Murree over the coming weekend, and...