CTD allowed to interrogate jail officials in LeJ activists’ escape case

KARACHI: The Anti-Terrorism Courts’ Administrative judge on Saturday allowed the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to interrogate 12 prison officials who were arrested for their alleged involvement or negligence that laid the jail’s break and escaping of two under trial prisoners belonged to banned outfit.

Two members of the terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Shaikh Mohammad Imtiaz alias Firoun and Mohammad Ahmed Khan alias Munna, managed to escape from the ATCs complex located inside the Karachi Central Jail premises in a dramatic fashion on June 13.

Following the report of the incident, the Inspector General prisons Nusrat Mangan suspended Central Jail’s superintendent Ghulam Murtaza Shaikh, deputy superintendent Faheem Memon, assistant superintendent Abdul Rehman Shaikh, ASI Faroosh Mohammad, police commando Nawab Ali and constables Atta Mohammad, Mohammad Amir, Abdul Ghafoor, Saeed Ahmed, Mohammad Sajjad, Taigal Naseer and Nadir Ali.

Initially, these officials were arrested by police and sent to jail on judicial remand by a District East judicial magistrate but later, the investigation of the case was handed over to the CTD.

On Saturday, the investigation officer DSP Zahid Hussain moved an application before the ATCs administrative judge seeking the custody of the suspended prison officials who are detained in Malir prison.

DSP Hussain submitted that the investigators could not get a chance to question the suspended officials as they were remanded to the prison the following day of their arrest. He contended that section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was later incorporated in the case after the investigation was handed over to the CTD.

The IO asked the judge to allow the investigators to question the suspended officials on the premises to ascertain the facts about the escape of the LeJ activists.

The judge also expressed his displeasure over the investigators for approaching the court after two weeks of the case registration and directed the Malir jail superintendent to provide access to the CTD towards the suspended jail officials. Meanwhile, the judge tasked the ATC-VIII with the disposal of the bail application moved by three of the suspended officials.

The suspended officials have been booked under sections 223 (escape from confinement or custody negligently suffered by public servant) 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his law apprehension), 225 (resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension of another person), 225-A (omission to apprehend or sufferance of escape on part of public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 at the New Town police station on the directives of the prison authorities. Now the section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 has also been inserted in the case.

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