KARACHI - Police yesterday claimed to have made a major breakthrough in investigation into the murder case of prominent Sufi singer and qawwal, Amjad Sabri, besides detaining a closed aide of Sabri who was accompanying him in his car at the time of the incident.

Amjad Sabri was gunned down in a broad daylight on Wednesday when at least two armed men on a motorcycle targeted him and opened indiscriminate fire near Liaquatabad Underpass shortly after he left home to attend a Ramazan transmission in a private television channel.

His killing shocked everyone and also compelled the government to take action. The police, Rangers and other law-enforcement and intelligence agencies sped up their actions across the city and rounded up more than 100 suspects, including the workers of a political party, during various raids and operations in the metropolis.

Though the investigators have so far failed to find any clue in the case of Owais Shah, lawyer son of the Sindh High Court chief justice who was kidnapped a couple of days before the assassination of Amjad Sabri, the police claimed to have made a major breakthrough in Sabri’s assassination. Owais Shah was kidnapped at gunpoint by at least four armed men in a white car soon after he came out of a market in Clifton neighborhood. It is also reported that the investigators have also arrested a suspect having links with the killing of Sabri. “There would be good news soon as there is a major breakthrough in the case,” said a senior police official on condition of anonymity.

The police, on the other hand, have detained a closed aide of Sabri, Saleem Chanda, who was with him at the time of the incident. Chanda has been taken into custody by the police. Chanda was a personal employee and a close aide of Sabri. He was in the Sufi singer’s car when the assailants targeted him. Chanda, however, remained unhurt in the attack. “Being a closed aide of Sabri, Chanda was aware of all of his activities. The target killers did not open even a single fire at him though he was sitting just next to Sabri. Perhaps, he can help the investigators,” said SHO Mohsin Zaidi. The police investigators have started questioning Chanda.

According to sources, the authorities concerned have asked the law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to give the names of their representatives for the joint investigation teams (JITs) to probe the two high-profile cases – Amjad Sabri’s assassination and Owais Ali Shah’s kidnapping. “Though the Sindh government has approved the summary for constituting JITs, we have asked ISI, MI, IB, FIA, Rangers and others to give their representatives’ names so that the JIT could be formed. After it is notified, the JIT officials would also question those suspects who have been taken into custody during raids and operations following Shah’s kidnapping and Sabri’s killing,” the authorities said.