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HYDERABAD: Suspects being taken to the police headquarters.—ONLINE
HYDERABAD: Suspects being taken to the police headquarters.—ONLINE

HYDERABAD: Police have arrested two activists of a Sindhi nationalist organisation, claiming that they launched attacks to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with funding from the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Speaking at a press conference at the police headquarters here on Friday, Hyderabad SSP Irfan Baloch claimed that Noor Hassan Bhachho and Masroor Thebo were activists of the banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), led by Shafi Burfat who was based in Germany.

He said the men had been arrested in the Fort area and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been seized from them.

“Their accomplice, Abdul Rehman Pirzado, fled during the raid,” the SSP said.

He alleged that the JSMM had been funded by RAW to carry out subversive activities, stoke insecurity and sabotage the CPEC.

A pistol and seven grenades had also been seized, the official said, adding that the suspects were responsible for the Aug 14 explosion under the Sakhi Abdul Wahab Shah Jilani flyover, which left nine people injured.

“They are foreign-funded men,” he claimed and said the motorcycle used by them had also been seized along with potassium used in the bomb.

The SSP said Pirzado had prepared the IED.

“The JSMM is now becoming active in Karachi and a recent attack on a Chinese national is one example,” he said. The suspects’ disclosures, he added, would help police investigate Karachi-related cases.

The JSMM is also suspected of having carried out a failed attempt to blow up railway tracks in Matiari recently.

“We have reports they raised slogans of ‘Go China, go’ at a rally. It was discussed in our meetings,” the SSP said.

He said police were investigating cases of religious groups as well, but added that they were not funded by India.

“But the network of three activists killed on July 22 within Bodhani police station’s jurisdiction after a bank robbery in the area of Market police station is very active from the terrorism point of view. They may hit the media, courts and police officers,” he said, adding that activists of the JSMM and other banned groups used different weapons.

However, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Bashir (JSQM-B) leader Dr Niaz Kalani rejected the SSP’s claim, saying Noor Hassan was the general secretary of the Hyderabad district chapter of his party, Masroor Thebo was a senior activist and Pirzado was the president of the party in Hyderabad. “He is now underground to evade arrest.”

Dr Kalani said that the SSP had levelled false accusations and had shattered his image of being an honest police officer.

“We have divergent views with the JSMM as far as their way of political struggle is concerned. Our activists will never work for any other party,” he said.

He denied that the JSQM-B had anything to do with subversive activities.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2016