KARACHI: Credible intelligence warnings of possible terrorist attacks have forced the authorities to tighten security in and around Karachi Central Jail, even advising public to detour instead of passing by the central prison.
Dozens of additional police and elite force commandoes were being deployed inside and around the prison facility, which is to remain on high alert until further orders.
Besides around 50 Rangers personnel, 300 police personnel on five armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 30 police mobiles have been guarding the Central Jail from the last couple of days, especially between 10pm to 6am.
Interestingly none of them is aware what kinds of threats the jail authorities were receiving, and they are just following orders given by their higher ups. "Our higher ups have asked us to cordon the central prison from all four sides, which we will do until the next orders," said New Town DSP Nasir Lodhi. "We have no idea what kind of threats are there. We are just obeying their orders. We have been asked to be ready to foil any potential terror threats."
All roads leading to the jail have been blocked as a security measure and the citizens have been advised to take detours.
They added that prison authorities scrambled these special security measures after receiving some serious warnings from intelligence agencies.
"The danger of terrorist attacks was clear and present because the prison houses many convicted terrorists, whose comrades will not shy away from taking a shot at getting them out of the detention. We are doing what we must to avoid breaches," a senior jail official said.
Around one hundred hardcore militants of the banned outfits are imprisoned at the Central Jail. Sources privy to the matter told that the situation turned critical after the authorities planned to shift the hardcore militants from the jail. "The militants imprisoned in the jail informed their comrades outside the jail about the government's plan to shift them Central jail. Since then the militants warned authorities that they will kill them (law enforcers) and their families including children if a single imprisoned comrade was shifted," said a source privy to the matter. "They warned that they are even aware of the movement and activities of the officials' families and will first attack them in case their demands are not fulfilled."
On the other hand, besides district police, the jail officials concerned said they were not aware about the actual threats and increased security measures are being undertaken for safety reasons. "We just know the militants are extending their activities in the country, so increasing security does not necessarily mean we took the measures because they (militants) threatened us specifically," said deputy jail superintendent of the jail Aurangzaib Kango. "We do not want to take any kind of risks. We are taking the measure ourselves to avoid any untoward incident."
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