Police on Wednesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) in connection with a militant attack claimed by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and targeting Eidul Azha prayers in Shikarpur on Monday.
Three policemen were injured as police foiled two suicide attack attempts during Eid prayers in Shikarpur’s Khanpur tehsil.
The FIR was lodged against six suspects under sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 324, 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), sections 3 and 4 of the Explosive Substance Act and 6/7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of Syed Mohammad Shah Kazmi, a member of the Shuhada Committee.
The committee is a district level forum of the Shia community that was formed in the wake of last year’s suicide bombing in a Shikarpur imambargah that killed 61 people.
The complainant said he has nominated six persons in the FIR in light of the initial statement given by an arrested accused.
“We don’t trust the police, that’s why we have come forward to lodge the FIR ourselves,” Kazmi told Dawn.
Khanpur police confirmed that four men nominated in the FIR include Abdul Rehman (dead), Usman (arrested) and Umer and Hafeez (their handlers) who had fled away. Two accused remain unidentified.
SSP Shikarpur Umer Tufail said that since members of the Shia community were volunteering to register the FIR “we didn’t raise any objection and the FIR has been accordingly registered”.
Police have rounded up close to two dozen suspects in the Khanpur area of Shikarpur district after the incident.
A teenaged would-be suicide bomber — who was later identified as Abdul Rehman — was killed and his accomplice Usman was arrested while three policemen received injuries.
Abdul Rehman and Usman were spotted outside an imambargah acting suspiciously. When a policeman approached them with some questions, they failed to answer.
Usman, who was wearing a suicide jacket, was then caught by people and handed over to police while Abdul Rehman fled and reached a place close to an Eidul Azha congregation.
As police tried to get near him, he detonated a hand grenade which he was carrying, resulting in injuries to three policemen. However, another policeman opened fired on him, killing him on the spot. The three injured policemen were shifted to a Karachi hospital through helicopter under IGP Sindh’s orders.
Initial investigation by police shows that Abdul Rehman and Usman had travelled to Shikarpur on a motorbike after travelling for three hours.
“This shows that they had stayed somewhere in another district like Jacobabad or Jaffarabad in Balochistan,” a police source said.
Usman, who is in custody of police, is a resident of Swat’s Kabal tehsil. He is a student of a religious seminary in Karachi. It is learnt that Usman is being handed over to Sindh police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) for questioning.
IGP Sindh A.D. Khawaja confirmed talking to Dawn over the telephone that the case of Tuesday’s incident was being transferred to CTD Karachi along with the arrested suspects for investigation.
Shikarpur police have transferred SHO Bahar Deen Keerio following the attack after complaints of Shuhada Committee leaders.
Kazmi of the Shuhda Committee remarked that SHO Keerio was incompetent.
“We [the Shia community] are facing a different scenario and a conventional type of policing will not help us and this is what we are trying to tell everyone,” he said.