ISLAMABAD, March 15: As many as 21 activists of banned Hizbut Tahrir were taken into custody by law enforcement agencies from a house at I-9/1 on Thursday, sources told Dawn.

The raid was conducted by a joint team of the city police and security forces on information that the banned group was holding a meeting against ‘national interest’. A contingent of police along with Anti-Terrorism Squad and officials of security forces raided the house after cordoning off the locality. The raiding team also seized some literature, computers, laptops and CDs from the house.

Meanwhile, in an SMS sent to the media, the banned group said:  “Today the police kidnapped over 15 members in a raid. They are kidnapping the members of HuT from houses instead of Blackwater and CIA terrorists.”  The SMS also said HuT would continue its peaceful struggle.

The sources said the arrested persons were shifted to the police station but till filing of this report at about 11:30pm no case had been registered against them.

The sources said at the time of the raid the group was formulating a strategy regarding different issues, including the Balochistan situation. Besides, they were also preparing a plan against the arrest of their colleagues in the past, especially after the attack on Mehran base.

The investigators were trying to trace the owner of the house and it seemed that the house was hired on rent recently.—Munawer Azeem