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Sunday, March 03, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

JIT formed to investigate Islamabad suicide car bombing

All kinds of public activities banned in Islamabad for two weeks
Policemen collect evidence at the suicide blast site in Islamabad on December 23, 2022. AFP
Policemen collect evidence at the suicide blast site in Islamabad on December 23, 2022. AFP

ISLAMABAD: A joint investigation team (JIT) was formed by the Islamabad police on Saturday to investigate the federal capital suicide car bombing, as Pakistan fights the recent surge in terrorist activities in the country.

“Pursuant to the request of AIG/Ops, Office of the Inspector General of Police, a Joint Investigation Team is hereby constituted under section 19-A of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 to investigate the case,” said the order issued by the office of the chief commissioner on Friday.

One policeman was killed and 10 others were wounded when a suicide bomber blew up himself and a vehicle in the I-10/4 area of the capital city. The banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed the responsibility for the attack.

The team will comprise the following officers:

  • Counter-terrorism department SSP, who will lead it
  • Inter-Services Intelligence representative
  • Intelligence Bureau representative
  • Any other nominated by the police chief

The station house officer of the CTD would assist the JIT in investigating the case.

“The JIT will complete the investigation within the stipulated time period laid down in the ATA 1997.”

The frequency of terrorist attacks in Pakistan has increased over the past year, however, it surged after the outlawed group announced its decision to call off the shaky ceasefire agreement with the government in November and ordered fighters to stage attacks across the country.

The banned TTP, an ideological twin of the Afghan Taliban, has been responsible for hundreds of attacks and thousands of deaths since emerging in 2007. Pakistan has several times exhorted the interim government in the neighbouring country to not allow its soil used as a “launchpad” for attacks against the country.

Terrorism case registered

The first information report of the incident was registered at the Sabzi Mandi police station on the complaint of Constable Muhammad Hanif under Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, sections 4 (punishment for attempt to cause explosion or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property) and 5 (punishment for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances) of the Explosives Substances Act.

Sections 109 (punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 324 (attempt to commit qatl-i-amd), and 302 (punishment of qatl-i-amd) of the Pakistan Penal Code were added to the FIR.

It said that the police were intermittently setting up blockades at different points in view of the snatching and recent terror activities.

“At around 10:30am, I along with, Adeel Hussain, Muhammad Yusuf, Bilal Ahmed, and Sabzi Mandi police station mobile had set up a surprise blockade at the service road in Sector I-10/4. Around 10:40am a vehicle from the side of IJP Road arrived. Hussain had asked it to stop. The car crossed the government pick-up vehicle and stopped it on the right side of the road,” it added.

Constable Hanif stood at a distance from the car while aiming the rifle at them as Hussain went near to the car and sought an identity card and the car registration book from the unidentified driver for identification. The driver gave the required documents to Hussain.

“Adeel Hussain asked his peers Yousuf and Bilal, who were standing behind the car, to check a long-haired person, who was looking an Afghan citizen by the face, sitting in the back seat of the car on account of suspicion. In the meantime, the person sitting in the car blew himself up because of this Hussain got severely injured and fell away. He was martyred after succumbing to his wound,” Hanif said.

Other policemen also got injured, adding that the impact of the blast was so intense that windows of the nearby houses were broken and vehicles parked outside houses also got damaged.

“Body parts of the taxi driver and suicide bomber were found scattered in the area and the vehicle caught fire,” it said.

“Legal action should be taken as the terrorist has spread fear and panic in the country after causing heavy loss of life and property in the suicide attack.”

All kinds of public activities banned for two weeks

All kinds of public activities, especially related to the local government elections, have been banned for two weeks in Islamabad in the wake of the suicide car bombing in the federal capital on Friday.

“In light of recent advisories/threat alerts issued by the law enforcement agencies and today’s attack on police, the security of Islamabad has been beefed up to obviate the threats within the jurisdiction of the capital which can disrupt peace and tranquility causing damage to public life and property. However, the likelihood of such activities cannot be ruled out in the coming days,” said the notification issued by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner.

Reacting to this, the district administration imposed Section 144 (under which gathering of five or more people and the holding of public gatherings and rallies is banned) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for 15 days with immediate effect in Islamabad.

“All kinds of corner meetings, public gatherings, and congregations, especially in the wake of the upcoming local government elections, have been banned,” said the tweet. The decision was taken in light of the advisories issued by law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, security in the capital was put on high alert for the next 48 hours and advised citizens to call 15 in case of seeing any suspicious activity.

The Islamabad police in a series of tweets on Friday said that post-mortem and other investigations “did not reveal any evidence of the woman’s presence” in the vehicle that was used by the suicide bomber.

“The driver or the assailant may have wrapped himself in a blanket, suggesting the presence of the woman,” it said, adding that the cake-cutting ceremony for Christmas was also postponed.

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