Pakistan police have filed a charge sheet against three more persons, including the alleged mastermind, in connection with the powerful car bomb blast outside Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed’s house here in June last year that killed three people.
A source in Punjab police told PTI on Saturday that the mastermind and other two facilitators were arrested after the conviction of five suspects in this case.
“After keeping them in custody for several months for investigation, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police finally decided to present them before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) Lahore for their trial,” he said.
The court has accepted its request and the trial proceedings will begin on September 20, the source said.
“On Friday, the CTD filed the chargesheet before the ATC against Samiul Haq (mastermind), Aziz Akbar and Naveed Akhtar (facilitators) in the case of 2021 bomb blast near the residence of Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in Jauhar Town, Lahore,” a CTD official.
The CTD declared the three “guilty” and requested the court to hold their trial, he said, adding that this is the first time the department has brought out a charge sheet against these suspects in this case.
In January, the ATC Lahore had sentenced four suspects — Eid Gul (activist of banned Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan), Peter Paul David, Sajjad Shah and Ziaullah — to death on nine counts. It had also handed down five years of imprisonment to a woman, identified as Ayesha Bibi, during the in-camera trial proceedings at the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail here.
The prosecution had presented 56 witnesses against the suspects. According to the CTD, TTP’s Eid Gul had installed explosives in the car used in the blast. The car belonged to Peter Paul David and other three – Sajjad Shah, Ziaullah and Ayesha – were facilitators.
Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has been serving sentence at the Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore for his conviction in multiple terror financing cases. There were unconfirmed reports that Saeed was present at his house when the blast took place.
The 71-year-old radical cleric and a UN-designated terrorist, on whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty, has been convicted for over 68 years imprisonment in multiple terror financing cases moved by the ATC. His punishment is running concurrently.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT, which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in the country and using its territory to carry out attacks in India.