Islamabad: Arms recovered from Lal Masjid stolen
ISLAMABAD: Heavy consignment of arms and ammunition, recovered during the Lal Masjid operation in July last year, has been stolen from the Aabpara police station, police and intelligence agencies sources told The News. About 80 guns, including mortars, heavy machine guns (HMGs), light machine guns (LMGs), Kalashnikovs and a large quantity of bullets were among the stolen weapons. Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik, taking serious notice of the incident, has removed SSP Islamabad Capt (retd) Ahmad Latif from his post with immediate effect and suspended ASP (city) DrShahzadAsif while station house officer (SHO) Malik NaeemIqbal, five assistance sub–inspectors (ASIs), including Muharrar, a head constable and four constables have been arrested. The interior adviser has asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad to hold inquiry into the incident.
Rehman Malik, while talking to the News, said a joint investigation team (JIT) has been constituted to investigate the issue. He said DIG (security) InayatullahFarooq would be the head of the team while representatives of Inter–Services Intelligence (ISI), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) would be members of the team.
The adviser said he took immediate action upon receiving information from constable Muhammad Afzal about the incident and ordered the arrest of the SHO and nine other officials, apparently responsible for the incident, adding, he has transferred SSP (operation) Capt (retd) Ahmad Latif and suspended ASP (city circle) DrShahzad with immediate effect. He said he has promoted the constable to the post of head constable and has given him a cash award of Rs25,000.
He said the new SSP would be appointed on recommendations from the interior secretary. When asked if SP Yaseen Farooq would be the new SSP of Islamabad, the adviser said the SSP would be appointed on merit.
Sources said the plot of stealing arms and ammunition was disclosed when SHO of the police station NaeemIqbal found bullets scattered on the ground some 50 feet from the ‘MaalKhana’, adding, the SHO saw two Kalashnikovs lying near ‘MaalKhana’. Sources said the SHO immediately informed ASP (city circle) DrShahzad who brought the incident to the notice of the IGP and the SSP.
Sources said a search operation was conducted after locking the police station and all the rooms of the police station were combed but nothing was recovered from the residential block of the police station.
“The weapons were not shifted out in one night,” an officer investigating the case claimed, adding, the process could have been on for months. The officer said: “Certainly, the weapons were stolen in the wee hours and night ‘Muharrar’ could be involved in the crime.”
The Aabpara police have registered a case against the SHO and nine other officials under Sections 380, 457, 409, 553 and 109 PPC. Those arrested include ASI Shan Muhammad (newly transferred to the Aabpara police station and was staff ‘Muharrar’ but has not assumed the charge yet), ASI RafiullahNiazi, ASI Shabbir Ahmad, ASI Maqsood Ahmad, night Muharrar Muhammad Fayyaz and Samiullah, Head Constable Muhammad Farooq and two constables.