RAWALPINDI, Jan 4: The Elite Force guard who gunned down Punjab Governor Salman Taseer is said to be associated with ‘Dawat-i-Islami’, a non-political and non-violent religious group with Barelvi leaning.

This was disclosed by a colleague of Mumtaz Qadri, the self confessed assassin.

Qadri, 26, son of Malik Bashir, joined Punjab police and got Elite Force training in 2006-7. He was posted to the Elite Force wing in Rawalpindi in 2008. Qadri, who has five brothers and four sisters, got married three years ago and his first child, a son, was born four months ago.

A police officer said Qadri had been assigned guard duty with Mr Taseer during the governor’s visits to Islamabad and once with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

On Tuesday, Qadri left the Police Lines at around 7.30am to report for duty.

Police took his five brothers and father into custody from their house soon after he had confessed to the crime.

In addition, 25 police officers and a muharar of Elite Force who had prepared the list of personnel, including Qadri, for duty during the governor’s visit were also taken into custody and shifted to Islamabad for investigation.

Investigators also confiscated the cellphones of the security personnel deployed for the governor’s security.

A police party went to the house of Qadri in Muslim Town late in the night and found some religious books in his room. The room was sealed after the search.A group of women who had come to visit Qadri’s wife after coming to know about the crime committed by him told this reporter that the man said his prayers regularly.

But they could not meet his wife because police had locked the house.

A number of people were gathered outside the triple-storey house.

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