Mystery shrouds Swat explosions as clearance operation continues

Minute Mirror - Subscribe
Minute Mirror - Subscribe

The powerful explosions at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD)’s police station in tehsil Kabal of district Swat on April 24, which claimed 18 lives, have left several questions for a two-member fact finding committee to answer.

The probe committee comprising Secretary Home Muhammad Abid Majeed and Deputy Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, Saqib Ismail Memon have to seek answers of the riddles left behind the deadly explosions that claimed 18 lives and injured 51 others.

Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, former IGP and Home Secretary told APP on Wednesday that the probe committee would have to dig out the nature of blasts, negligence on behalf of CTD department if any, safety measures and existing capacity to store huge quantities of explosives, arms and weapons at the compound. He said the storage of explosives and ammunition at a place with electricity supply was apparently a serious negligence and an investigation was required to ascertain the actual cause behind the explosions.

KP IGP Akhtar Hayat Gandapur during his visit to explosions-hit Kabal police station had ruled out the possibility of any terrorist act and added that two explosions occurred within 12 minutes.

Explaining his stance, the IGP said that no incident of firing or attack at the police station was reported on the fateful day and about five policemen deployed at the gate of the CTD centres were present at the time of explosion with no evidence of ambush on them.

Besides the killing of six civilians and nine policemen of CTD, he said that five under-custody prisoners at the compound were also killed and 51 injured.

Police sources said that an initial investigation into the incident revealed that the explosives material including mortars, IEDs and detonators was being stored in the compound from the last three to four years as recovered by the police from Bajaur, Dir, Swat and Buner in various raids and crackdowns. It disclosed that the first explosion occurred at 8:14pm followed by another huge bang at 8:25pm that caused the collapse of the CTD compound and damage to nearby buildings. The bomb disposal squad and Rescue 1122 continued the search and clearance operation on the third day and defused arms and explosives at the compound and shifted the discharge wounded cops to their native villages.

The senior government officials rushed to Kabal and inspected relief and rescue operations there soon after the incident. KP Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhary also visited the blast site and reviewed the pace of rescue and clearance operation and directed early completion of the inquiry report. He also visited Saidu Sharif hospital in Swat and inquired after the health of injured cops.

Khyber Pakthunkhwa Governor Ghulam Ali and caretaker chief minister Azam Khan said that the issuance of premature early statements without knowing the facts to the media by some elements was an irrational and illogical attitude. The Governor said that an inquiry had been ordered and we should wait for its findings before making speculations.

The Governor said that the elements involved in the negative propaganda were against the country and the nation, adding that playing politics on such unfortunate incidents was not only highly deplorable but was a deep conspiracy against the country and the nation.

Meanwhile, the first information report (FIR) of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station at Kabal has been registered by the police.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Station House Officer, CTD, Akraam Khan at Kabal CTD police station under various charges including murder, attempt to murder, and terrorism sections 302, 324, 353, and 427.

As many as five injured that received critical burnt wounds in Kabal CTD’s blast have been shifted to Peshawar Burn Center for treatment.