Three policemen, Qadri cousin removed from active duties

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Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Jan 13 (PTI) The assassin of PunjabGovernor Salmon Teaser has told Pakistani interrogators thatat least four policemen, including his cousin held "extremereligious views" and could carry out attacks any time,prompting the authorities to remove them from active duties.

Mumtaz Qadri, a member of Punjab Police''s Elite Force,killed Taseer in Islamabad on January 4.

Punjab Police have asked the four policemen to reportto various district headquarters after receiving a report fromthe joint investigation team comprising officials of IslamabadPolice and intelligence agencies that is probing Taseer''sassassination, media reports said.

Qadri, who was assigned to guard VIPs despite beingdeclared a "security risk" in 2004, said he was angered byTaseer''s criticism of the blasphemy law.

The four constables removed from active duty includeShakeel Qadri, a cousin of Mumtaz Qadri who too was postedwith the Elite Force in Rawalpindi.

The three others are Shaheen Sabir of PunjabConstabulary, who was part of the Punjab Chief Minister''ssecurity detail, and Muhammad Taimoor and Muhammad Naseer,both posted with the Elite Force in Rawalpindi.

Islamabad Police has asked Punjab Police to hand overthe four policemen as the team investigation team wants toquestion them.

The Islamabad Police said in a letter to its Punjabcounterpart that Mumtaz Qadri had revealed during hisinterrogation that the four policemen held "extreme religiousviews" and could carry out attacks at any time.

Regional Police Officer Hamid Mukhtar confirmed thatthe four constables had been withdrawn from duty and directedto report to various district headquarters.

The screening of Elite Force personnel and otherpolice officials guarding VIPs had begun and would take timeto complete, he said. .

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