RAWALPINDI - Regional Police Officer (RPO) Umer Akhter Hayyat Lalayka has said that police and officials of intelligence agencies have been working round the clock to trace whether any madrassa or its students were involved in mediating between the victims of extortion of money and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and other extortion groups operating in tribal areas.

A strict action would be taken against those found involved in any such illegal activity, he added. “Police have no report about any seminary of its direct involvement in extortion collection or is playing the role of mediator between extortion victims and TTP or other groups making phone calls and hurling threats on the traders in the region,” he said while talking to The Nation at his office here on Monday.

He, however, said that there were some intelligence reports that there have been such unlawful activities in madrassas but a complete and comprehensive report in this regard was yet to be compiled with the help of intelligence agencies. The RPO said that police would round up TTP spokesman Shahid Ullah Shahid for his alleged involvement in the RA Bazaar suicide blast occurred on January 21, 2014.

“The police will arrest Shahid Ullah Shahid as he is nominated in a case registered with the RA Bazaar police in connection with the suicide blast,” he said.

The RPO made it clear that police would strictly deal with those found involved in helping extortion groups without any discrimination.

“I am completely surprised over a media report that Special Branch (SB) Rawalpindi is preparing and submitting a report highlighting 20 seminaries have alleged connection with TTP. No such report was prepared or submitted by the SB Rawalpindi” said a top gun of SB Rawalpindi while talking to scribe rquesting anonymity. 

An official of country’s premier intelligence agency, seeking anonymity said that they had not solid proofs against any seminary to establish its role in extortion cases.

Mufti Abdul Rehman, Wafaq-ul-Madaris Al-Arbia Pakistan Incharge Rawalpindi Division, during an interaction with this scribe, vehemently denounced the media reports about involvement of seminaries in helping TTP in extortion collection.  “All the seminaries associated with WMAP impart Islamic education to their students instead of urging them to hold guns,” he said adding.

When asked about the reports regarding detention of kidnapped people in madrassa and collection of extortion money by seminary students and their heads to transfer before transporting or shifting them to tribal areas, the division Incharge said, “It’s a white lie. I challenge the government and security agencies to make public the evidences if they have.”