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No clue to people behind arms cache found in Azizabad, police tell court

KARACHI: While accepting a police report showing police’s unawareness about the suspects, an antiterrorism court (ATC) on Friday directed the investigating officer to submit a progress report twice a month in a case pertaining to the recovery of a huge cache of weapons in Karachi’s Azizabad area.

The IO through an ‘A-class report’ had informed the court in November that the police were still clueless about the culprits behind what was claimed to be the biggest-ever cache of weapons found in an underground water reservoir in a house close to Nine-Zero, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s headquarters, in October.

The report said that according to some witnesses Azam, once a security in-charge of Nine-Zero, had purchased the house in question in 2013 and got it leased in the name of Razia Sultana, wife of Mohammad Farooq. Later, the house was rented out to Mubarak who vacated it in March 2015.

However, the witnesses said that they were unaware of the dumping of weapons, the report said and added that despite many efforts the police remained unaware regarding whereabouts of Razia and others.

The report further said that the police approached arms manufacturing factories and officials of different law enforcement agencies of Pakistan with a request to inform them if the recovered weapons were stolen or snatched from any factory/institution.

However, IO Inspector Tariq Mehmood submitted that they could not so far arrest any suspect for hiding the arms and ammunition, adding that the investigation was still under way and they would produce before the court when any of the culprits were arrested.

After examining the IO and the record, the ATC-IX judge accepted the report but directed the inspector to submit a progress report in the case after every 15 days.

Police claimed to have seized anti-aircraft guns, spare barrel guns, SMGs, LMGs, Russian sniper rifles, grenade launchers, hand grenades, rocket launchers, bulletproof jackets, helmets and other weapons from the water tank of the house.

A case was lodged under Section 4/5 of Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and Section 23(i-a) of Sindh Arms Act, 2013 read with Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Azizabad police station.

According to senior lawyer Mohammad Farooq, after lodging a case the police are required to submit a report before the ATCs in a month. Under the Police Rules, an IO files an ‘A-class report’ when the accused persons are untraceable for the time being, but the investigation goes on till the arrest of the accused.

He rejected the impression that the cases in which ‘A-class reports’ are filed are put on the backburner.

courtesy : dawn news

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