KARACHI, Nov 19: While police investigators with the help of some eyewitnesses were drawing a sketch of the man who had parked an explosive-laden motorbike close to Imambargah Mustafa in Abbas Town shortly before a Majlis began there on Sunday evening, the Sindh government on Monday night imposed a ban on parking and plying of vehicles close to Imambargahs and other venues of Majalis in the city.
“No parking will be allowed in a radius of half a kilometre of an Imambargah or venue of Majlis-i-Aza taking place even at a private residence in the city,” Additional Chief Secretary (home) Waseem Ahmed told Dawn.
However, there would be exemption for local residents, journalists, law-enforcement officials and patients, he added.
A notification to this effect was issued on Monday night.
The fresh security measure was taken in the wake of the Abbas Town explosion that killed two persons and wounded several others. An improvised explosive device had been planted in a motorcycle which went off on Sunday night.
The earlier decision of the interior ministry to place a total ban on the motorcycle riding in the city in the wake of some intelligence reports was set aside by the Chief Justice Sindh High Court.
Sources told Dawn that some eyewitnesses informed the police that the man who parked the IED-rigged motorbike was aged between 30 and 32 years.
He was clad in black shalwar-kameez, they added. “A sketch of the man was being prepared by the police with the help of the eyewitnesses,” the sources said.
They said that the explosives weighed three to four kilograms and was laced with ball bearings and nut bolts.
They said that the investigators were grilling two suspects, who were caught by the people outside the Patel Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, where the wounded of the blast were shifted for treatment.
The suspects were handed over to the police and now they were being questioned by the Special Investigation Unit, the sources added.
While no senior police officer was available for comment on the development, it was not immediately clear if the detained men had any role in the blast.
FIR registered The Sachal police, meanwhile, registered a case (FIR 703/2012) against unidentified persons under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and Section 3/4 of the Explosives Act. The case was registered on behalf of the state.
Meanwhile, the funeral prayer of victim Azhar Hussain, who was killed in the blast, was held in Abbas Town amid tension and high security.
A large number of people attended the funeral prayer. Later, the coffin was taken to the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard in the form of a procession.
Markets and shops located in and around Abbas Town and on main Abul Hasan Ispahani Road remained closed on Monday.
Security had been further beefed up in the area on Monday as two platoons of the police had been posted at the Paradise Bakery, close to the Gulshan View Apartments and near the Superhighway to avert any untoward incident.
Earlier in what appeared to be a related incident, motorcyclists set fire to a truck near Safeeq Mor in New Karachi in the early hours of Monday.
The locality of Abbas Town is not new to acts of terrorism. A prominent Shia leader, Allama Hasan Turabi, was also killed in a suicide attack on July 2006 in the same locality.
Strict surveillance ordered The Sindh police chief asked the authorities concerned that there should be strict surveillance of the entry points of all Majalis, processions, Imambargahs and mosques, adds APP.
Sindh IG Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari also ordered that special teams of the Anti-Car-Lifting Cell be formed to carry out spot checks on vehicles.
He also directed that in view of the prevailing law and order situation, effective steps be undertaken for the recovery of stolen vehicles and those involved in the theft or stealing of vehicles be apprehended.