Footage of clerics’ killing: Police to seek foreign help

KARACHI, Feb 9: Police authorities have decided to send CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera footage, showing two attackers firing at a van that resulted in the death of two clerics and a student of the Jamia Banori Uloom Islamia, to a foreign probe body after local investigators failed to determine the identity of the assassins who rode away after executing the job off Sharea Faisal, it emerged on Saturday.

Sources privy to the development said the authorities reached the decision after multiple examinations of the footage by the police investigators employing different sources and services of different institutions failed to achieve a breakthrough.

“An investigation team headed by the DIG east has finally decided to hire services of a foreign institution and in this regard also received a nod from the higher authorities,” said a source while explaining progress in the investigation of the case.

“The institution whose services can be hired is not yet finalised but there are some very credible investigation bodies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and the British Scotland Yard. The main objective of the entire exercise is to determine the identity of the attackers through their faces, as our investigators remained unable to do so.”

The police officer tasked with the investigation was expected to finalize the name of the foreign probe body within a day or two, he said.

The source said the footage was likely to be sent to the foreign investigators within a week after which progress could be made on these lines.

On Jan 31, two teachers and a student of the Jamia Banori Uloom Islamia were gunned down in the attack on their van on Sharea Faisal. The victims included 50-year-old Shaikh-ul-Hadees Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpori, the senior most faculty member of the seminary, his 40-year-old deputy Mufti Saleh Mohammad and 33-year-old student Ahsan Ali Shah.

The attack took place on a stretch of the thoroughfare between the Nursery bus stop and the Finance and Trade Centre (FTC) along the block-B of Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society. The chilling images of the shooting were caught on a CCTV camera installed at a private facility in front of which the brutal attack was carried out. The footage showed three assailants escaping on a motorcycle after attacking the van which was on the left track of the road.

Amid ongoing sectarian killings, the incident came in the limelight after religious groups gave a strike call to protest against the attack and press the authorities to immediately arrest the killers.

The sources said it was the first case of such killings in the city that convinced the authorities to take foreign investigators on board.

“There are two major reasons behind that initiative,” said the source.

“Firstly, there was no such piece of evidence (CCTV footage) available in any case of targeted killing in the past. Secondly, the incident itself became high-profile as it included the killing of one of the top clerics.

“It may set a precedent or encourage the authorities to acquire technology that could help investigators make use of such footage.”



Full News here – DAWN.COM » Newspaper > Karachi

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