KARACHI: At least five persons, including a judge, were injured on Monday when an explosive device being presented as case property blew up in a Karachi anti-terrorism court—a rather bizarre and possibly the first-of-its-kind incident in a Pakistani courtroom.
Initial reports suggested that a hand grenade recovered from a terrorism suspect—against whom a case had been filed in the ATC for illegal possession of explosives—exploded inside the courtroom.
But Dr Jameel Ahmed, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South zone, later claimed that it was a detonator and not a grenade which caused the explosion.
Jameel said that the detonator, which carried a very small amount of explosive material, was packed in a glass utensil. He said that the judge had asked for the detonator to be presented in the ATC court-III on a request by the defence counsel.
Abid Ansari, investigating officer of Sindh Police from Kalakot station, was presenting the explosive device as case property in court.
Eyewitnesses said a court clerk opened the box carrying the device which exploded inside the courtroom. DIG Jameel Ahmed said the clerk removed a pin from the detonator to show the judge when the explosion took place.
ATC Judge Shakeel Haider, the court clerk, and a policeman were among the five people injured, who were shifted to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.
According to police and hospital sources, three of the five injured only suffered minor injuries.
The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) later reached the court to carry out further investigation.
DIG Dr Jameel Ahmed said that safety measures for presenting explosives and weapons in court are being reviewed following the incident.
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