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IGP Sindh says police 'know who was involved' in attack on Mutfi Usmani

Updated March 23, 2019

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DIG East Amir Farooq speaks to Mufti Taqi Usmani after the latter escaped an assassination attempt at NIPA. — DawnNewsTV/File
DIG East Amir Farooq speaks to Mufti Taqi Usmani after the latter escaped an assassination attempt at NIPA. — DawnNewsTV/File

A case was registered against six unknown suspects under terror and murder charges for an assassination bid a day earlier targeting prominent religious scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani in Karachi, as police claimed to have clues about the identity of the attackers.

The case was registered at Aziz Bhatti police station on behalf of the state through area SHO Adeel Afzal, said East SSP Azfar Mahesar.

According to the complainant SHO, six suspects riding three motorcycles opened indiscriminate firing on two vehicles at NIPA Chowrangi near Chase store in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Block-10, at around 1:15pm.

As a result, police guard Mohammed Farooq and another person, Sanober Khan, were killed while Mufti Usmani's driver, Habib, and aide, Maulana Amir, were critically injured.

SHO Afzal told Dawn that Habib, the driver of the religious scholar, was admitted to Liaquat National Hospital. He has sustained bullet wounds on his chest and doctors did not allow the investigators to record his statement at present due to the seriousness of his condition.

He added that Maulana Amir, who got admitted to JPMC, was not in a position to record his statement either.

Earlier in the day, Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had revealed that investigators have clues about the identities of the assailants involved.

Speaking to the media after laying a floral wreath at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah on Pakistan Day, the Sindh police chief disclosed that investigators have "some leads" in the case. "We know who was involved," he stated without elaborating further.

He said that concerted efforts are underway to bring the culprits to justice. "All requirements of the investigation will be fulfilled," vowed IGP Imam. He denied that the Sindh police had withdrawn the security of any personality.

The IGP said he believed that the imminent launch of the Karachi Safe City Project would help police improve the law and order situation in the metropolis.

"Sindh police are on high alert," IGP Imam asserted, claiming out that over 500 threats to law and order had recently been successfully dealt with, while incidents of terrorism had dropped.

'Will not let them succeed'

Earlier today, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah accompanied by Minister for Works and Services Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani, and the CM's Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab visited the Darul Uloom seminary in Korangi to call on Mufti Usmani.

"God has bestowed his mercy on you and kept you and your family safe during the attack," said the chief minister. "I was very saddened to hear of this incident," he told the scholar.

He also offered his condolences over the deaths of Mufti Usmani's guard and driver, who were killed in the attack.

"Some elements are bent on ruining the peace in the city but we will not let them succeed in their despicable objectives," Chief Minister Shah vowed.

Mufti Usmani apprised the chief minister on how bullets "rained on him from all directions" during the attack, upon which the chief minister assured him that the assailants would soon be brought to justice.

"I wanted to visit you yesterday but then I thought that your devotees must be with you to express solidarity which is why I called you to inquire about your well-being," said the chief minister, who had then directed Minister Saeed Ghani to pay him an urgent visit.

Following the visit to the seminary, the Sindh chief minister also visited the residence of the slain police guard, Farooq, and offered his condolences to the deceased's father.

The chief minister was informed that Farooq was the father and sole provider of three visually impaired children. "There is no replacing a father," Chief Minister Shah said regretfully. He assured the family that he would not allow them to feel the absence of their loved one.

Announcing that the Sindh government will take upon itself the responsibility of providing the children an education, the chief minister directed the relevant officials to ensure that this is implemented.

Funeral prayers of the slain police guard were held at police headquarters in Garden and were attended by Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani, Sindh IG Dr Kaleem Imam, and other senior officials of the police and rangers.