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Anarkali blast: People collected money instead of tending to victims

Investigators say 'foreign hand' may be involved in Anarkali blast

Humanity died soon after the Anarkali Bazaar blast outside a prize bonds shop in the market as some people started collecting money scattered on the ground instead of saving the lives of the victims, witnesses revealed on Friday.

The blast had occurred on Thursday afternoon in Anarkali Bazaar, killing three and injuring 25 others.

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CCTV footage also emerged that showed a man collecting money from the ground and putting it into this bag at the same time when bodies were lying around on the ground and victims were crying for help.

An eyewitness also made a similar statement that instead of saving victims’ lives, people started collecting money from the spot.

“It was really shameful that people went to money instead of taking care of the victims,” said the man, expressing regret.

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He said: “The blast was so powerful that it shattered the nearby buildings and a heavy amount of money scattered outside the prize bond shop.”

Another witness said that people tended towards the counter of the prize bond shop from where they took Rs300,000.

A nearby building of a private bank was also badly damaged in the blast as its windowpanes were broken down.

A local trader said, “We feel horror and feel totally unsafe.”

He also said that they had asked local authorities several times to take action against encroachment and ill-parking, but their requests always fell upon deaf ears.

“You may know that a man put a bag on a bike parked there and then a blast took place,” adding that he initially thought it might be a transformer explosion but there was heavy smog and bodies were lying on the ground.

The trader, however, added that the police and rescue operation was very quick.

“Anarkali police station is near, so they came soon. Response of the rescue service was also a big relief for all of us,” he said.

The local traders, however, held the government responsible, saying that they did not take action to end encroachment and illegal parking. They said that Anarkali Bazaar was a popular place and visitors from around the world came there.

According to the police, two facilitators were arrested after the CCTV footage was revealed and were shifted to some unknown place for interrogation. Police said they would act against all the suspects involved in the blast.

The police has however made no statement on whether the persons who were collecting money from the spot would be brought to justice.

The investigators have said that they found evidence of a foreign hand behind the terrorist attack in Anarkali and the scope of the investigation had been widened.

“The data of all shopkeepers is being collected from Paan Mandi in new Anarkali,” said a senior police officer seeking anonymity. He said: “Betel leaves are imported from India, so the foreign hand cannot be ruled out.”

The forensic teams continued to work all day while collecting evidence from the spot. The officials of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and other police officials removed the debris of the damaged-goods and a burnt bike as well.

“Everything collected from here will undergo forensic audit,” said a member of the forensic team present there. “We will reach the culprits and arrest them,” he added.

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