Release of ‘bomber’ triggers clash in Peshawar jail
PESHAWAR, Jan 26: Suspected militants lodged in Peshawar jail clashed with prison officials on Wednesday over the release of a teenaged colleague that they had opposed fearing that intelligence agencies would whisk him away and after the fear proved right, sources said.
They said that suspected militants claimed to have information that secret agents were lying in wait outside the jail compound for Mir Janan who had served his sentence given on the charge that he was a would-be suicide bomber.
However, the prisoner was set free after completion of his term. “Despite pressure from suspected militants the prisoner was released and no sooner did he emerge from the main compound, he was whisked away by the personnel of an intelligence agency,” an insider told Dawn.
An official said that suspected militants attacked prison officials and manhandled them after which some more officials reached the spot and controlled the situation. To avoid further violence a large number of policemen were deputed outside the prison.
Sources said that some officials and prisoners received minor injuries during the clash. The suspected militants also hurled abuses on the deputy superintendent, Akber Khan, when he set free the prisoner.
The release of Mir Jana was due few weeks ago but he was not set free as agency personnel were present outside to pick him, sources said.
The then superintendent of prison, Masoodur Rehman, and a deputy superintendent, Iftikhar Khan, were made officer on special duty by the high-ups as the intelligence agency concerned lodged a complaint against them, they added.
Mir Janan had filed a writ petition before Peshawar High Court that was disposed of on Jan 11 with the direction to the officials of Peshawar Central Prison and local police to hand him over to his family safe and sound as he had completed his prison term.
He had feared that he would be handed over to the intelligence agency following which he might fell prey to extra judicial killing.
The prisoner was convicted by an anti-terrorism court on Sept 29, 2010, for his alleged attempt to carry out a suicide attack at Nowshera Cantonment. He was also given benefit of section 382-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure under which the period of detention of a convict before his conviction has to be included in his prison term.
Mir Janan is a resident of Makeen area in South Waziristan. He was arrested by some army personnel and was charged with wearing a suicide vest having 10 to 15 kilograms of explosive material and carrying a hand grenade. Later on, he was handed over to police.
During investigation he had claimed that he belonged to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. He had said that he was brought to the area by another person named Taimor on a motorbike and was left there for carrying out the suicide attack.
Although, his counsel claimed that he was a juvenile offender as at the time of occurrence he was only 16, yet the said point was not pressed during trial.