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Thursday Sep 14 2017

Suspected LeJ terrorists escaped to Afghanistan: CTD

Suspected Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists who escaped from Karachi jail. Photo: Geo News

KARACHI: Two suspected terrorists affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have escaped to Afghanistan after breaking out of Karachi jail in June, according to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

In a report submitted to the Sindh Home Department, the CTD informed that the suspects have fled to Afghanistan through the Chaman border in Balochistan, Geo News reported on Thursday.

The suspected terrorists managed to cross the international border despite the presence of more than 40 security check-posts between Karachi and Chaman. 

The two undertrial prisoners, Sheikh Mohammad alias Firon and Ahmed Khan alias Manako, were present in the jail’s judicial complex for a hearing when they escaped. 

CTD officials had revealed further that the inmates who escaped had changed their appearance in the judge’s bathroom.

The suspects were arrested by the CTD in 2013 over their involvement in dozens of targeted killings in the city.

As many as twelve police personnel, including the jail superintendent and deputy jail superintendent, were arrested at the behest of Sindh law and prisons minister after the jail break.

A case was also registered against the officials in New Town Police Station.

Later, investigations showed that the two prisoners were also aided by other inmates as well. 

Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Omar Shahid had called the escape of the two prisoners a dangerous thing. 

He had also said that his department had expressed reservations over the jail’s security earlier too.

A report by the CTD, prepared after the jail break, had earlier stated that prisoners belonging to banned outfits are virtually running the Karachi Central Jail and managing their network from behind bars without any fear or repercussions.

The report had added that prison officials have no power or control over certain dangerous prisoners, who openly hurl threats at the officials.

According to the report, the prison administration is forced to oblige to demands of certain prisoners of banned outfits, specifically Hafiz Qasim Rasheed alias Ganja, and are unable to implement prison rules and regulations either due to fear, incompetence or negligence.

The report had also accused senior prison officials, including the superintendent, of failing to perform their duties, adding that majority of the prison officials agree to become part of the corrupt system.

CTD's report further sstated that prisoners can open and close the doors of wards, venture into any ward, visit the judicial complex without any court summon and manage their network from prison without any fear. 

It also said that the same had happened in the case of the prison break, in which the prisoners had escaped from the judicial complex, and the incident did not come to light because the prisoners themselves carry out the prison count.

About the prison break, the report said there was malice involved in the arrest of the police officials in the incident, saying that majority of those arrested are not involved in helping the prisoners escape. 

On the contrary, attempts were made to protect powerful officials in the prison. 

The report concluded by suggesting various recommendations and concrete steps to avoid any jailbreak incidents in future. 

It recommended increasing the number of cases against terrorists belonging to banned outfits to military courts and asks for ensuring the speedy trial of the cases and handing out of sentences to the prisoners. 

A high-security prison should be established where terrorists can be kept in isolation, the report recommends.


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