‘LeJ chief involved in bomb attack on Shias’

Last Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 00:12

Lahore: A Pakistani judicial review board
on Saturday ended the house arrest of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik
Ishaq, detained last year for attacks on Shias, even as the
police has accused him and 14 others of role in a bomb attack
on a Shia procession that killed 20 people on January 15.

Pakistani police today accused Ishaq and 14 others of
involvement in bombing of a Shia `Chehlum` procession of
Hazrat Imam Hussain, earlier this week.

The move came hours after a judicial review board of
the Lahore High Court ended the house arrest of Ishaq, who was
detained last year after his group was blamed for a string of
attacks on the minority Shia community.

Police in Khanpur town of Punjab province registered
a case against 15 people for alleged involvement in the
January 15 bombing of a `Chehlum` procession.

They included Ishaq, Shafiq Dahar, Ghulam Muhammad,
Muhammad Yaqoob, Muhammad Usman and 10 unidentified persons.

Police registered an FIR against the 20 people under
the Anti-Terrorism Act while acting on a complaint by Imdad
Hussain of Mauza Jetha Bhatha.

Liquat Ali, the police officer investigating the
bombing, said that he was waiting for a nod from his
superiors for raiding the residence of Ishaq and arresting
him.

"We have started raiding the homes of the other
accused named in the FIR but have not yet proceeded against
Ishaq as he is a high-profile personality," he said.

The judicial review board issued an order for
freeing Ishaq after setting aside the Punjab government`s plea
that Ishaq`s detention should be extended for maintaining law
and order in the province.

Ishaq was released from Lahore`s Kot Lakhpat Jail in
July last year after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
He had been imprisoned for 14 years.

While he was still in prison, he was accused of
masterminding the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team
in Lahore.

The Punjab government detained Ishaq under the
Maintenance of Public Order law in September last year
following a string of deadly attacks on Shias that were blamed
on the LeJ.

His detention was periodically extended thereafter by
the review board.

Ishaq was charged in 44 cases but convicted in only
two, for which he received prison terms totalling six-and-half
years.

He was acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in
seven others while one case was discharged.

He has been accused of involvement in the killing of
at least 70 people, a majority of them Shias.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 22:51

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