LAHORE: After an anti-terrorism court granted bail to the primary suspect in the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, the decision was challenged by the Punjab government. A special bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday admitted the petition challenging the bail granted to Zubair, alias Nek Muhammad.
The court directed the police to produce the accused before the court on October 10, which is the next date of hearing.
Counsel for the Punjab government submitted the petition before the bench headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar, stating that respondent Nek Muhammad is a prime suspect accused in the attack and they had arrested him with the help of a closed-circuit television footage. The counsel argued that the anti-terrorism court had granted the bail despite the fact that there was ample evidence of his involvement in the attack.
A three-member review board of the LHC had, on Tuesday, directed the police to release Nek Mohammad on bail for a lack of incriminating evidence for extension of his detention period.
It may be noted that after Zubair was released on bail by the ATC, government authorities had again detained him under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) for three months. On expiry of this period, the LHC review board extended his detention by another month on August 30.
However, on Tuesday, after the period of detention expired again, the review board ordered his release for a lack of evidence.
Zubair was arrested on June 2009 on charges of masterminding terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. Investigators allege that he is a member of a local unit of the Taliban which was involved in the attack.
Six Sri Lankan players, including the team captain Mahela Jayawaredene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas had sustained injuries in the attack that was caught on closed-circuit camera. Six policemen were killed in the brazen attack. (The Express Tribune)