Pakistani fugitive extradited from Indonesia killed by opponents in custody — police

This photograph released by Tribunnews shows Muhammad Luqman Butt, a Pakistani fugitive, at the time of his arrest in Asahan district of North Sumatra province on Jan. 21, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Tribunnews)
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Updated 26 January 2020

Pakistani fugitive extradited from Indonesia killed by opponents in custody — police

  • Muhammad Luqman Butt was using a fake identity to live in North Sumatra
  • He was killed by his opponents on Saturday night, official tells Arab News

KARACHI: A Pakistani fugitive, who was recently arrested and repatriated by Indonesian authorities, was killed by opponents in police custody last night, a police official said on Sunday.

“Muhammad Luqman Butt was taken to Daska Road for recovery of weapons last night at around 9 pm when one of his opponents, named Master Ijaz, killed him with the help of his accomplices,” Sub Inspector Muhammad Asghar at the City Wazirabad Police Station told Arab News.

The police authorities have lodged an FIR of the murder of Muhammad Luqman Butt against his opponent, Master Ijaz Rasool. Rasool, the FIR claims, killed Luqman while he was in the police custody and was taken to Daska Road for recovery of weapons on Saturday night (FIR copy by Gujranwala Police)

It may be recalled that the Indonesian police repatriated Butt, who was living in Asahan district of North Sumatra, on Thursday after arresting him two days before that.

The 34-year-old man, identified as Muhammad Luqman Butt, alias Husein Shah, and M. Firman, was flown from Medan to Jakarta, where he was handed over to the Pakistani police in the presence of officials of the Pakistan embassy.

This photograph released by Tribunnews shows Muhammad Luqman Butt's Indonesian identity card, top, bearing the name M. Firman with his photo and citing Asahan as his place of birth, and his driver’s license. (Photo courtesy: Tribunnews)

According to police sources in Pakistan, Butt had five different cases registered against him in three police stations in the eastern city of Gujranwala.

He was suspected of committing two murders, and the Pakistani authorities had announced a bounty of Rs200,000 ($1293) on his head.

Police report shows a list of five different cases registered against Butt in Gujranwala, a district in Punjab. (Source: Punjab Police)

According to Station Police Officer Bilal-ur-Rehman at the City Wazirabad Police Station, attackers arrived on a motorbike at Daska Road to target Butt. “The police suffered some damages as well during the encounter,” he claimed.

Asked if any law enforcement personnel was hurt, Rehman said their vehicle was damaged by gunshots.

He refused to comment on why Butt was moved so late at night when his life could have been in danger due to the nature of charges against him.

The incident’s first information report claims that Master Ijaz Rasool confessed he had killed Butt through his men.

Pakistan seals Taftan border after coronavirus kills eight in Iran

Updated 52 min 12 sec ago

Pakistan seals Taftan border after coronavirus kills eight in Iran

  • Balochistan’s government declares health emergency in all bordering districts
  • No flights to and from Iran have been halted, says CAA 

KARACHI: Pakistan has sealed Taftan border and stopped pilgrims from traveling via the crossing to Iran after eight coronavirus deaths were reported from the neighboring country, officials told Arab News on Sunday.

Iranian health authorities have said that 43 people were being treated for the virus -- which was first detected in Wuhan, China -- in at least four different cities, including the capital, Tehran. 
There are several shrines in Iran that are frequented by a large number of Shiite Muslims from Pakistan. Hundreds of people access the Taftan border crossing between the countries on a daily basis. 

Pakistan has stopped all movement from crossing points, launched screening procedures and introduced additional patrolling along the border “until the situation is under control,” Mir Zia Ullah Langove, Home Minister of southwestern Balochistan province told Arab News on Sunday. 

A Pakistan health official screens a man at the Taftan border crossing between the Pakistan-Iran border on Feb. 23, 2020, after coronavirus killed eight in Iran. Pakistan on Saturday declared a health emergency along its border with Iran. (Photo Courtesy: Office of the assistant commissioner Taftan)

“We are trying to take every possible precaution,” the home minister said, adding that these were efforts being taken by the provincial government, with assurance from Prime Minister Imran Khan that the federal government would be extending help as well.

The move to seal the border follows Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan’s decision on Saturday to declare a health emergency in all provincial districts bordering Iran.
However, flights to and from Iran have not been suspended.
“The staff of health ministry is already present at the airports and a passenger is allowed entry only after clearance of health declaration,” Abdul Sattar Khokhar, spokesperson Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan (CAAP) told Arab News, dismissing reports of a temporary halt on flights to Iran.
“There is no reality in reports that flight operations to Iran have been stopped. We had neither stopped flight operations to and from China and nor will it be stopped to any other country,” the official said.
Imran Zarkon, chief of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) told Arab News that as part of emergency preventative efforts, 1,000 masks had been distributed in the border areas, while a temporary hospital tent with 100-beds had been set up in case of an emergency. 
“Qom is the most affected area of Iran where the pilgrims go, so if there is any possibility of the virus coming to Pakistan it will be through Taftan and authorities here are on high alert,” he added.
However, this has failed to provide much consolation to the people of Balochistan, with some concerned about the illegal movement along the porous border.
“Iran shares over #1000 KM long porous border with #Balochistan #Pakistan, #coronaravirus deaths are alarming news for the region. Daily 100s of people cross these borders without formal procedures, region is poverty-stricken with no medical facility,” Sanallah Baloch, a Balochistan lawmaker tweeted on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in a statement released on Sunday, Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs, Noorul Haq Qadri, said that he had discussed the matter with Iranian officials to safeguard Pakistani nationals visiting the country.
Qadri also spoke to Dr. Zafar Mirza, State Minister for Health, on the deployment of medical teams to the Taftan town along the border.