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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Thursday summoned the investigating officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department for arguments on his ‘A’ Class report, recommending suspension of the proceedings pertaining to the November 2018 terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate.

The administrative judge of the antiterrorism court had sent the matter to the antiterrorism court concerned with the direction to dispose of the same after the police investigating officer submitted an ‘A’ class report in the case.

Seven people, — three heavily armed militants, two policemen and two visitors — were shot dead in a gun-and-grenade attack by them on the Chinese consulate located in the ‘high security zone’ in Clifton’s Block-4.

Seven people, including two policemen and as many visitors, were killed in the shoot-out

On Thursday, the case was fixed before the ATC-II judge, who is conducting trial in the judicial complex inside the Karachi Central Prison.

The judge summoned the investigating officer to argue on the ‘A’ class report submitted by him, on the next date and adjourned the hearing.

In the progress report submitted to the administrative judge, the IO stated that the terrorists stormed the consulate building and started firing and throwing hand-grenades and also killed assistant sub-inspector Ashraf Dawood and police constable Mohammad Amir, who were posted at the first security checkpoint, while Muhammad Juman, who was posted at the entrance to the visa section, was injured by their firing.

It further stated that after hearing shots the visitors as well as the staff went into the consulate and locked the doors from inside. Therefore, the attackers tried to plant an IED to blow up the iron-gate but failed to do so due to firing by the security forces personnel from the outside. A visa-seeker, Tahir Shah, and his father, Niaz Ahmed, were hit by the attackers’ firing and died on the spot, it added.

“The attackers were killed inside the reception area by the firing of the police and Rangers personnel in a very organised manner,” the report said. “One of the attackers was killed in retaliatory firing by the police near the first checkpoint.”

The progress report stated that the three attackers were killed in the operation by the forces, adding that earlier the attackers had completely burnt three vehicles by throwing hand-grenades, while two police mobile vans and nine other vehicles parked outside the consulate building were partially damaged.

It added that a flag of the banned Baloch Liberation Army was found in the possession of the terrorist identified as Raziq Baloch, while a national ID card and another card, showing him as an employee of the irrigation department of the Balochistan government, was also found on him.

The report further said that one attacker, Raziq, was identified as son of Din Muhammad through biometric verification by the National Database and Registration Authority, while no record of the two other attackers was found.

It stated that the BLA had released pictures of the three terrorists and claimed responsibility of the ‘suicide attack’ carried out by the outlawed Fidayeen Sarbaz of Majeed Brigade, adding that the BLA was supported by the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing, or Raw.

It mentioned that the ‘foiled’ attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was a failed attempt to vitiate the Pakistan-China relations.

The IO said the attackers were constantly in contact with Harbiyaar Marri, Aslam Baloch alias Achhu, Bashir Zaib, Noor Bux Mengal, Kareem Marri, Captain Rehman Gul, commanders Nisar, Sheikhu, Gaindi, Sharif, Hamal, Munshi, Agha Sher Dil and others, who were the masterminds and facilitators of the terrorist attack. He also said the agencies had been approached to ascertain their whereabouts so that their arrest could be effected.

The progress report stated that most of the suspects hailed to Balochistan, adding that letters were sent to the Balochistan government to check their criminal record, but the report in that regard was still awaited.

It said four Kalashnikovs, two improvised explosive devices, detonators, hand-grenades, explosive material and bullets were also seized from the possession of the three militants and the samples were sent to the forensic science laboratory for ballistic analysis.

The samples of the remains of the policemen, private persons and terrorists had been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory Lahore for DNA testing, the report said, adding that the analysis reports would be submitted to the court when received.

It further stated that efforts were under way to record statements of the eyewitnesses, adding that the reports of the chemical analysis of the seized weapons and explosives, DNA and others had not yet been received. The IO said those reports would be submitted to the court as soon as received.

It further mentioned that during the course of investigation the charges against the three killed terrorists and others, who had not yet been arrested, had been proved. However, the IO requested the court to accept the ‘A’ class report for halting the proceedings in the case till the arrest of the suspects.

A case under sections 353, 302, 324, 427, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and sections ¾ and 4/5 of the Explosives Act 1908 and Section 23(i)-A of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013 was registered at the CTD police station.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2019

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