A heavy contingent of Rangers carried out a major search operation at the Central Jail Karachi on Saturday, three days after a deadly attack on a senior judge in the city.
Prison officials told that a large number of mobile phones, laptops and internet devices were recovered from prison inmates during the operation by the paramilitary force.
“Rangers believe the attack on Justice Baqar’s convoy was carried out from inside the prison cells with the help of mobile devices,” said a senior prison official, requesting not to be named since he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The Rangers force have recovered a cellular device which they believe was used directly in the attack on Sindh High Court Judge Justice Maqbool Baqar.
Nine people were killed in the bomb attack on the convoy of the senior high court judge on Wednesday, June 26. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The jurist had served as the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts in Karachi and initially heard terrorism cases in this capacity.
The judge was also believed to be on Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s hit list while a suspect arrested in Karachi last year told police that Maqbool Baqar was among his intended targets.
Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi terrorists operating in Karachi are believed to have combined forces to carry out attacks on high-profile targets in the city.
Saturday’s search operation by Ranger’s personnel was carried out on a tip-off by an inmate at the central prison.
Following the search operation, security officials also questioned a member of outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, named as Farhan, who is said to be a key suspect in the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar.
In January last year, two members of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi were arrested by a team led by SP Crime Investigation Department (CID) Mazhar Mashwani.
Both men, Azeem Sheikh and Farhan, had confessed to having planned an attack on Justice Baqar.
They also confessed planning attacks on senior CID official, SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan, and Superintendent Police North Nazimabad, Khurram Warris.
Azeem Sheikh was released on June 20 on bail this year. Justice Baqar was attacked at Karachi’s Burnes Road area on June 26, a few days after his release.
Rangers also grilled two other key members of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Mohammad Ajmal alias Akram Lahori and Atta Mohammad.
Several contact numbers of key suspects involved in carrying out the attack on the SHC judge were also found in the mobile phones.
Deputy Superintendent of Central Jail, Nazeer Shah, however, called the operation on Saturday “a routine search.”
Prison officials, however, confirmed that over 200 Rangers personnel conducted a thorough search of the prison barracks.
The local police was kept only as backup force in the operation, said one official.
According to the official, a number of mobile phones and drugs were also recovered from prisoners at the Central Jail during a routine search by prison administration two weeks earlier.