KARACHI - Law enforcement agencies have foiled the terrorists’ plan of breaking the Central Jail Karachi and setting high-profile militants free here on Monday.

The terrorists were digging the tunnel from the nearby residential area of Ghosia Colony. They were digging for the last two months but failed to achieve the goal when law enforcers busted the groups involved in it.

Sources privy to the matter revealed that intelligence agencies informed the Rangers about the terrorist plan and gave them the task to uncover it. Following the information, Rangers conducted a raid at the house three days ago and discovered around 45-metre long tunnel.

Addressing a press conference at Rangers Headquarters on Monday, Pakistan Rangers Sindh Colonel Tahir said militants purchased a one-storey house comprises on 60-square feet area about a year ago but the terrorists started digging the underground tunnel two months back. The tunnel was around five-feet high and three-feet wide with proper lighting arrangement.

The house is located between the jail police watch towers on the boundary wall of the jail and district police check-post on the rooftops of the buildings.

“Heavy contingent of police and Rangers was already deployed in the surroundings of the jail due to frequent threats ahead of the attack on Central Jail but police and Rangers have failed to unearth the activities of the terrorists residing in the locality. The terrorists were just 10 meters away from their target but on the timely information by the intelligence agencies, the Rangers have foiled the plot and busted the network of the terrorists,” he said. Rangers took various terrorists into custody from different areas on the information revealed by the terrorists arrested from the house.

Various jails in Sindh, especially Central Jail Karachi, are facing serious threats of attack or jailbreak by the militant outfits. Around 100 high-profile terrorists from different banned outfits including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are imprisoned at this jail.  “They figured out the tunnel that had been built underground from a nearby house leading towards the barracks of high-valued captives in the Central Jail,” he explained.

Besides the deployment of Rangers, local police and the jail police and also setting up of watchtowers and pickets on the nearby buildings, the jammers are also installed in the vicinity. No one had idea that terrorists can counter them by digging a tunnel.  Sources said the terrorists had a plan to divert the attention of the law enforcers during Muharram through a blast and at the same time, they released their inmates affiliated with different militants groups including TTP, LeJ, Jundullah and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.

An inquiry committee headed by Sindh Home Secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi has been formed which included the officials of the Rangers, district police, jail police and intelligence agencies.

The committee will submit its report to the Sindh chief minister within a week. Sources said the aim behind constituting the committee was to find out the involvement or negligence of the law enforcers particularly the jail police behind the jail break plot.

Rangers also carried out a search operation in the jail and recovered cell phones, Jihadi literature and other dangerous stuff. It is worth mentioning here that several search operations have been carried out in the jail earlier in last couple of years and inmates have been transferred from Karachi jail to other jails of the province.

Sindh Jails Minister Manzur Wassan visited the house and later told the media that the house belongs to a police constable. Six policemen had been deployed at the rooftop. He also ordered forming an investigation committee for efficient investigation.

On the other hand, the area police denied the allegations made by the minister. “Neither a police picket was established at that house nor did the house belong to a policeman,” a senior police officer of the District East contradicted the minister’s statement.  “Even the house was not sold on double rate but it was sold around Rs1.5 million which is the actual cost of the house.” The officer said it was the duty of the intelligence agencies to find out such things as they have the equipment to trace such things while the police do not have.  Residents said the house was purchased about one year ago by a person namely Bholo, a drug addict.