JNN 27 June 2013 KARACHI: Nine people – mostly policemen and paramilitary troops – were killed and over a dozen injured in a bomb attack on the convoy of a senior Shia Sindh High Court judge Maqbool Baqar in the Burns Road neighbourhood of Karachi on Wednesday.
The Shia Judge, Maqbool Baqar, was also injured in the attack that the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed was carried out by its Terrorists.
Justice Baqar was travelling to the Sindh High Court around 8.27am when the terrorist remotely triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a motorcycle. The subsequent blast destroyed Justice Baqar’s Honda Civic, two police vans and two Rangers motorcycles.
Walls of the nearby houses were damaged and windows of several buildings in the neighbourhood were shattered by the thud of the blast. The attack took place in the Red Zone near an area where important government buildings – including Sindh High Court, Sindh Assembly and Sindh Secretariat – are located.
Six policemen, two Rangers personnel and Justice Baqar’s driver were killed in the bomb attack. Although the judge survived, he was badly wounded along with six policemen, two Rangers personnel and a passer-by woman and her daughter.
“Justice Baqar was the target,” AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebu told reporters at the blast site. Justice Baqar was on leave but he still visited his office routinely.
Six policemen , Two Rangers and Justice Baqar’s Driver were Killed in the High Intensity Blast
According to CID Superintendent Raja Umer Khattab, the terrorists triggered the IED as soon as Justice Baqar’s convoy turned towards the SHC. “It seems they carried out the attack with proper homework,” he said. Justice Baqar had received threats from banned outfits, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, in the past.
Following the threats, paramilitary Rangers had set up a picket outside Justice Baqar’s residence.
Ambulances from different welfare organisations shifted the casualties to Civil Hospital and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. Justice Baqar was later moved to Aga Khan Hospital, where medics declared his condition stable after surgery.
“Justice Baqar received injuries to his head and jaw,” a source in the hospital told Our Correspondent . “After surgery, he is now out of danger.”
The doctors, not wanting to be named, told that Baqir had sustained injuries to his head as he was hit by ball bearings and glass shards in the explosion.
According to the initial report of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), the home-made bomb was planted on a motorcycle parked along the footpath near Hanafia Masjid on Burns Road.
“A uni-directional IED was used in the attack,” a BDS official told. Unlike other explosive devices, ‘uni-directional bombs’ explode in one particular direction, he explained.
The device weighed around six to eight kilogrammes, the official said, adding that ball bearings, nuts, bolts and shrapnel were also used to inflict maximum casualties.
Meanwhile police denied reports that they have detained a suspect in connection with the blast. They said they were examining the footage of closed-circuit television cameras installed along Justice Baqar’s route to find clues to the perpetrators.
The TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed credit for the attack on Justice Baqar. “We claim responsibility for the attack on the SHC judge since he delivered verdicts “anti-Taliban and anti-mujahideen decisions” adding that the group would continue to target judiciary ” Ehsan told in a phone call from an undisclosed location.
He said the judge was also part of the ‘secular system’ and the attack was in line with the Taliban policy to target all those who are part of that system.
Meanwhile, lawyers have announced a boycott of court proceedings across Sindh in the wake of the incident.
SHC judge Baqir has a reputation for honesty and also served as a judge in special anti-terrorism courts set up in the country to pass down quick punishments to convicted terrorists.
Justice Maqbool is a senior judge of SHC and is currently working as acting chief justice. He has worked on several cases involving militants, serving as a judge in special anti-terrorism courts set up in Pakistan to hand down quick judgements in terror cases.
The justice had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order in 2007 and took active part in the Lawyers’ Movement.
Police sources said Justice Maqbool Baqar had been facing threats ever since he released the Innocent Shia Man , Muntazir Mehdi as he was made a scape Goat by the Black Sheeps of the Local Police to convict him to Prove and Balance their claim of Sectarian War , and in the same connection , two other Prominent Shia Legal Aid Committee Personnel Askari Raza , and Mukhtar Bukhari were also Martyred by the Terrorist working in Liason with the Black sheeps , who wants to convict him to prove that the ongoing Shia target Killing as sectarian War , and give the Impression to the world that it is between two Rival sects , to give the cover to the Takfiri Terrorist of TTP , SSP and LeJ , who are actually involved in Anti State Activities , and are funded by Saudi and US forces for the Disintegration of Pakistan and Killing of Innocent Pakistani , While whose Prime target are the Shia Community Members.