Two men were arrested on Wednesday for plotting to blow up a priest’s house in Batala Colony, police said. An accomplice of theirs was killed the night before when the explosives he was carrying to the place went off.
City Police Officer (CPO) Riffat Mukhtar Raja held a press conference in this regard shortly after the arrests were made.
He said the three Christian men, identified as Zeeshan Masih, Shiraz Masih and Sohail Masih, were extortionists. He said they had been threatening to blow up the priest’s house unless they were paid protection money. He said they were carrying explosives on two motorcycles when come went off, injuring Zeeshan Masih. He said the two men took him to a hospital, from where they later fled. Zeeshan Masih was pronounced dead a few hours later.
The CPO said that the hospital administration informed the police. A team was formed to look for the two men, who were arrested on Wednesday. Shiraz Masih was arrested from Dawood Nagar, and Sohail Masih from Warispura.
The CPO said that the two men had confessed to plotting against the priest and demanding money. He quoted them as saying that they had demanded Rs1 million from Qaisar Masih, a resident of Street 7 in Bilal Town.
They said they had called him (the priest) introducing themselves as workers of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and had threatened to kill him in case of non-payment. They said they had also written a letter to him, but he had ignored the threats.
“We planned to plant the explosives next to his house. We were on our way to his house on two motorcycles, when the explosives on Zeeshan Masih’s motorcycle went off,” they had told the police. They said on seeing their accomplice in a critical condition, they had fled the hospital fearing that some one would inform the police.
Cases had been registered against them on the complaint of the priest under Sections 25-D of the Telegraph Act (Penalty for causing annoyance), 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code (criminal intimidation), 3/4 of the Explosives Act and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
( Report Courtesy by Express Tribune Photo by Sunny Gill )