LEAs spring into action after sectarian killings

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ASWJ leader, top Shia cleric arrested; Faisal Abidi sent to jail

Salahuddin Haider

Karachi—After a spike in the sectarian killings in the metropolis, the Law-Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) launched combing operations in various areas and arrested over 40 suspects including a Shia cleric and a leader of banned outfit ASWJ.
Secretary General of the proscribed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat Allama Taj Muhammad Hanfi and All Pakistan Shia Action Committee chief Allama Mirza Yusuf Husain were detained during the action, officials said Sunday.
The police and Rangers conducted search operations in Rizvia Society, Nagan Chowrangi and other areas. Three suspects were arrested from a hostel adjacent to Masjid-e-Akbar taking the number of detainees to more than 40.
Six murders happened on Friday as armed pillion riders shot two men dead near the Fatima Bai Hospital and fled. A spokesman of the outlawed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat had yesterday claimed that the two victims were their supporters, however, the area SHO said the slain hailed from Khuzdar and were associated with the Tableeghi Jamaat.
Allama Taj Muhammad Hanfi on Sunday was moved to undisclosed location for further investigations.
According to the Rangers, Hanafi was arrested from Karachi’s Nagan Chowrangi area. An ASWJ spokesman also confirmed that Hanafi, who was to contest the Nov 24 NA-298 by-polls, had been arrested.
The Rangers and police arrested Allama Mirza Yousuf Hussain in a pre-dawn raid on Sunday. The prominent Shia scholar was taken into custody from Nazimabad area. The sources said the cleric has been moved to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
All Pakistan Shia Action Committee chief Allama Mirza Yusuf Husain was apprehended from his residence by police late Saturday night, a Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen spokesperson told media.
Husain’s residence is attached to Jamia Masjid Noor-i-Iman in Nazimabad where he is a prayer leader, he said.
Meanwhile, ex-PPP Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, who was arrested by the LEAs in connection with killing of two persons in Patel Para has been sent to jail on judicial remand till November 19. He was presented before the judicial magistrate Malir region.
Another case was filed at the Sachal Police Station against the PPP leader over recovery of illegal weapons. During the search of his house on Saturday, weapons, including G-3 rifle and MP-5 and submachine guns, were seized. The case was filed after he failed to produce license of submachine gun.
Around five weapons were recovered during a raid on Abidi’s New Rizvia Society late Friday night, a senior police officer said Sunday.
Therefore, the police have registered a case against him under Sindh Arms Act on behalf of the state.
A police spokesperson said that several people were detained during ‘combing and search operations’ in different parts of the city.
Residents blocked roads in Karachi protesting the alleged insult of religious texts during a search operation in a mosque in Rizvia Society. The allegations surfaced after photographs showing the aftermath of the search operation were shared widely across social media.
A Rangers press release, however, denied any such incident took place during a search operation. “The Pakistan Rangers term photos being shared on social media by miscreants contrary to the facts,” the press release said. “The purpose of such photos is to hinder the operation.”
“After receiving information about the presence of miscreants, the Rangers paid due respect to the sanctity of the mosque, imambargah and madressah during their search operation.”

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