Karachi police are conducting raids across the city to nab the suspected mastermind of the attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan on the first day of Eidul Azha,
The suspected militant, who belongs to the newly-emerged outfit Ansar-ul-Sharia Pakistan (ASP), managed to flee a raid carried out by a police team led by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed on Monday in the city’s Gulzar-i-Hijri area.
According to the SSP, the suspect was identified as Abdul Karim Sarosh Siddiqui, a central commander of ASP and a dangerous militant described as the mastermind of the attack on Izharul Hassan.
Siddiqui, who was wounded during the raid before fleeing, is a former student of Applied Physics at the University of Karachi, DawnNews quoted police as saying.
He is said to be a close friend of another suspected militant, Hassan, who was killed during the assassination attempt on Izharul Hassan.
Earlier on Monday, police along with intelligence personnel raided various houses in Gulzar-i-Hijri area of Karachi in connection with the presence of suspected militants. During the search operation, an encounter took place in Kaneez Fatima Society during which a policeman was martyred and another wounded, whereas the suspected militant, Sarosh Siddiqui, managed to flee, DawnNews reported.
Police have reportedly taken Siddiqui’s father, Sajjad, into their custody. They have also arrested Ansarul Sharia Karachi chapter’s spokesperson from the Defence area on Sajjad’s indication.
Hassan, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday when he was returning from Eid prayers.
One of the assailants was killed in the cross fire, along with one of Hassan’s guards and a teenager. Four other people were reported to be injured.