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The provincial government of Sindh axed the Inspector General of police on Wednesday over a bomb attack that killed 50 people in a Shia Muslim areneighbourhood  of Karachi, following stinging criticism by the country’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

fayyaz-laghariA three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing over Abbas Town tragedy at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry remarked that the Rangers had completely failed at establishing law and order in the city, and that the government did not appear serious over the issue.

He further said that incidents of terrorism continued in the city despite the presence of 11,000 Rangers personnel who enjoyed special policing powers.

The court ordered the Rangers’ chief to use his 11,000 troops to safeguard the city’s entry points and not allow “a single bullet to enter”.

Rangers’ Director General Rizwan Akhtar said his troops conducted overnight operations and arrested 59 suspects in the blast.

The court ordered the country’s three main intelligence agencies, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) , Military Intelligence (MI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), to submit reports on Friday on the blast.

The court also  issued notices to officials of the federal government and intelligence agencies summoning them to appear in court on Mar 8.

The court also instructed for the suspension of Malir Police chief SP Rao Anwar.

The Chief Justice had taken suo motu notice on an office note sent by the SC Registrar based on clippings of different newspapers over a deadly bombing last week in Karachi’s Abbas Town in which around 50 people reportedly lost their lives and almost 200 others were injured.

The note said the incident enraged the members of a particular community that took to the streets demanding immediate arrest of the killers and the situation in many areas remained tense.

Anwer Mansoor Khan, lawyer for Sindh provincial government, told a Supreme Court hearing in Karachi on Wednesday that police chief Fayyaz Leghari was being removed from his post, along with one of his deputies.

Leghari was also removed from his post in June 2011, but was later reinstated, after security forces shot dead an unarmed man in a public park.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry slammed the government and security agencies for negligence, demanding to know why heads had not rolled after Sunday’s attack.

“We’ll not allow anyone to enjoy public office at the cost of public taxes and do nothing to safeguard their lives and properties,” Chaudhry said.

“Those who died in the blast and others who are continuously being targeted in other terrorist acts are not foreigners. They are our own blood, they pay taxes for our salaries.”

Khan said a number of junior police officials had also been removed from their posts and an inquiry would decide whether any were guilty of negligence.

Lawyer for the police, Shah Khawer, told the court that at least 50 people were killed and 139 wounded in Sunday’s blast, which tore through two apartment blocks as worshippers left nearby mosques, trapping people beneath piles of rubble.

Pakistan’s parliament is due to dissolve in days in preparation for elections. But rising violence against Shias, who make up around 20 per cent of the 180 million population, has raised serious questions about security.

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