LAHORE - Police and intelligence agencies Friday began probe into the Old Anarkali terror strike that killed a man and injured more than 16 others. The deceased was identified as Muhammad Mazhar, a security guard at jewelry market nearby Tourist Street.
Hospital sources said that the condition of one of the injured was reported to be critical at Mayo Hospital while six of the wounded, including two women, are in intensive care unit.
A team of special investigators comprising police, intelligence operatives, and forensic experts visited the blast site, collected forensic evidences, and also recorded the statements of shopkeepers. The experts have sent some samples to the Punjab Forensic Laboratory to determine the nature of the explosive material used in the sophisticated but small time device.
According to sources, CCTV footage show a man putting a shopping bag beneath a table outside the food outlet. The police investigators are also checking the files and photos available in the Criminal Records Office (CRO), the sources added.
On the other hand, Punjab Inspector General of Police Khan Baig presided over a meeting to discuss law and order. Almost all the senior police officers serving in Lahore attended the meeting.
The sources revealed that the provincial police chief expressed his utter dissatisfaction over the security situation in Lahore and also took the police investigators to task for their failure in tracking down the criminals involved bomb blast that took place in the locality on July 6.
The Punjab police chief grilled the Lahore police officers over security lapse which provided an opportunity to the terrorists to enter the red-zone. A police source revealed that the IGP directed all the supporting staff to leave the conference room before the meeting started. The police officers of the investigation wing tried their best to convince their boss that the culprits would be captured but they could not cool down the top cop.
“I need action. I need result not words and simple promises,” an official quoted the IGP as telling the cops.
Meanwhile, the police have detained dozens of suspects from various parts of the city as search operations have been extended to check the movement of suspected elements. However, no important arrest related to the blast could be made till Friday night.
The employees and owners of the food outlets in the Tourist Street were seen dejected while sitting outside the closed restaurants. The owners feared the business would fall while the employees were afraid of sudden layoffs.
Hundreds of food lovers are seen roaming in the street on the weekends but the shopkeepers feared the business would fall further following the second terror attack. “This second blast has not only destroyed the food business but also dimmed our hope and trust. People are scared and frightened. They would not visit the food street again,” said 36-year-old Ali Sajjad, who works as a waiter at a food outlet.