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Jacobabad blast case will be referred to military court, Qaim tells Shia leaders

Jacobabad blast case will be referred to military court, Qaim tells Shia leaders

SUKKUR/LARKANA: The Maj­lis-i-Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) and Shia Ulema Council (SUC) leaders who along with relatives of the victims of Friday bomb blast in Jacobabad had started a sit-in at DC Chowk in the city soon after the incident announced an end to their protest on Saturday evening since most of their demands were apparently accepted.

A suicide bomber targeting a mourning procession taken out on 9th Muharram had left 16 people, many of them children, dead on the spot and wounded a number of others. Reports received on Sunday evening put the death toll at 26 as 10 more victims succumbed to their wounds.

Hours after the blast, relatives of the victims and leaders of the MWM and SUC brought 14 bodies to the DC Chowk, outside the Jacobabad deputy commissioner’s office to hold a sit-in demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and removal of senior police and district administration officials. They also made a number of other demands and refused to bury the deceased victims until they were met.

Provincial ministers and lawmakers including Mir Aijaz Jakhrani, Syed Nasir Shah, Sardar Manzoor Khan Panhwar, Mir Mumtaz Jakhrani, Dr Sohrab Sarki, Mir Liaquat Lashari, Mir Zaib Panhwar and Mir Farooq Jakhrani held several rounds of talks with Shia leaders Allama Syed Nazar Abbas Taqvi, Allama Nasir Abbas Jafferi, Allama Maqsood Ali Domki, Syed Ehsan Ali Shah and Bandah Ali Jafferi to persuade them to end their protest.

Finally, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah along with MNA Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Transport Minister Mir Mumtaz Jakhrani, former minister Mir Manzoor Khan Panhwar, Mir Zaib Panhwar, Mir Liaquat Lashari and others visited the DC office and received a briefing on the terrorist attack and the protesters’ demands.

The chief minister ordered suspension of the Jacobabad City DSP Rana Nasrullah and the medical superintendent/civil surgeon of the local civil hospital Altaf Wagon pending an inquiry into their alleged negligence. He also accepted the Shia leaders’ demand for a compensation of Rs2 million for each of the deceased victims and Rs1 million along with a government job for each of the seriously wounded victims of the blast. He agreed that the other wounded victims should be paid Rs200,000 each.

Speaking to SUC and MWM leaders at the DC office and later to the media, Mr Shah strongly condemned the terrorist attack and announced that those found involved in it would be tried in a military court. Earlier, Mr Shah along with Larkana Commissioner Ghulam Akbar Leghari and DIG Dr Sain Rakhiyo Mirani visited the wounded victims at the Shahbaz Airbase hospital and inquired about their health. He asked doctors to take maximum care of the patients.

“The perpetrators of the terrorist attack will be traced and punished to the fullest extent of law. This case will be referred to the military court,” he said, adding that the Sindh government had referred six cases to the military court.

Pannu Aqil GOC Major General Faiz Hameed also visited the hospital and inquired about the blast victims’ health on Friday evening. Later, he proceeded to Shikarpur to review the security arrangements made for the Ashura day processions.

According to officials, CM Shah assured the Shia Ulema that the matter of the alleged police firing that left a man, Mohammed Sharif Jatoi, wounded during the post-blast chaos would be investigated and action would be taken against the policeman if he was found guilty of unnecessary use of his gun.

The officials also quoted the CM as telling the Ulema that more police officers/civil hospital officials would be placed under suspension if the inquiry into the whole affair found them negligent.

He said that two inquiry teams had been formed and their reports would reach him within a week.

One of the teams is headed by Additional Inspector-General of the counter-terrorism department Sanaullah Abbasi and the other by Larkana DIG Sain Rakhiyo Mirani.

A shutdown was observed in Jacobabad on Sunday in response to a call given by the Jacobabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2015

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