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Pakistan Supreme Court raps police and interior ministry officials over attack

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 - 5:18pm IST | Agency: PTI

Pakistan Supreme Court today pulled up Islamabad police and Interior Ministry officials over the suicide attack on a court here in which 11 people were killed and expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the security personnel to the brazen assault.

Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani had summoned top security officials over yesterday's attack, the deadliest terror incident in the heavily-guarded capital in more than five years.

Unidentified attackers burst into the complex of the local court and opened fire, killing Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Ahmad Khan Awan and 10 others. At least 25 people were injured in the attack in F-8 area of the capital where a large number of expatriates stay.

Interior Secretary Shahid Khan told the court that cameras and three security scanner gates at the district courts had been out of use for some time.

"The Secretary Interior is directed to make the CCTV cameras functional within 48 hours and by the evening ensure that compensation to the victims' families is announced," Jillani said.

Islamabad police chief Sikandar Hayat was told by the judge to submit a report about security details and their response to the attack on March 10.

Jillani also directed the president and secretary of the Islamabad District Bar Association to submit eyewitness accounts of the incident.

"They should explain in their statements what they saw and mention that despite their efforts the response of policemen was lukewarm and how they were reluctant to fire upon attackers," Jillani said.

In a report submitted before the Court, Police said that 66 police officers were supposed to be present in the Court premises. Asked by the Chief Justice, how many of them were actually present, the Interior Secretary said 44.

Jilani then questioned him on how many were armed, to which the Interior Secretary did not have the details.

A visibly annoyed Jilani then said that tax payer's money is being spent on police.

Khan informed the court that the police force was sent from a nearby police station within 7-10 minutes of the attacks.

Justice Khilji Arif in his observation said that had the police force arrived within 7 minutes such destruction would not have taken place.

"Newspapers are full of reports that police arrived after 45 minutes," he said.

The apex court ordered the authorities to identify policemen who failed to respond to the gun and suicide bomb attack.




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