ISLAMABAD: The attack on a police team in G-13 on Sunday night in which a head constable was martyred seems to be targeted, police said on Monday.
Senior police officers told Dawn on condition of anonymity that it was too early to ascertain whether the attackers were terrorists.
However, circumstantial evidence suggested it was a targeted attack, the officers said.
“According to a report, a terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is being verified,” added a police officer.
Alerts have been issued to law-enforcement agencies that militant groups may target them, the officers said, adding SOPs were also being prepared for the patrolling staff to minimise risks, especially when they set up halting points for checking suspicious elements and activities.
Police teams used to set up the G-13 check post on a regular basis, the officers said. “The halting point was exposed to attack,” said one of the officers.
Last night, a patrolling team, comprising SI Mohammad Jamil, constable Qasir Abbas and driver head constable Mohammad Qasim, set up a halting point at the chowk. The police quoted the SI as saying that he was sitting in the front seat while the head constable and the constable were standing beside the vehicle.
Two persons came on a motorcycle and opened indiscriminate firing on the officials, resulting into injuries to them, he said.
The injured SI sought help through the police communication and an ASI reached there within five minutes, the police quoted him as saying, adding later the injured were shifted to hospital where head constable Mohammad Qasim succumbed to his injuries.
A case was registered at Counter-Terrorism Department against the two attackers under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act along with 302, 324, 186 and 353 of Pakistan Penal Code. A joint investigation team (JIT) has been constituted by the chief commissioner.
Police officers told Dawn that the attackers used 9mm and 30-bore pistols.
CCTV footages of the Safe City Project cameras installed on the route are also being examined to identify the attackers and the motorcycle, they said.
Besides, the geo-fencing of the area is in progress to identify the attackers. It has also been decided to share the investigations and other details of the case with Rawalpindi police, investigating the martyrdom of Racecourse police SHO on Sunday.
The police officers said the patrolling teams had been advised against establishing halting point at one place on a regular basis.
They said one of the team members would provide cover to his colleagues checking suspicious elements.
All the members of the police team have been asked to keep distance while standing or sitting in the vehicle, they added.
Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of the head constable was offered at the Police Lines Headquarters and later his body was transported to his native town Sargodha.
In his native town, the family members of the deceased and relatives also offered his funeral prayers and a police contingent offered him guard of honour. He was buried at a local graveyard.
The head constable is survived by his two daughters, a son and a widow.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2021