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4 LHC judges also receive letters; official refrains from commenting on nature of missives

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LAHORE: A day after all eight Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges received letters laced with a suspicious toxic chemical, police said four Lahore High Court (LHC) judges had also received letters but refrained from commenting on the nature of the missives.

On Tuesday, letters were delivered to the IHC judges in white envelopes sealed with cello-tape. The names of the judges and the address of the IHC were written on the envelopes. Sources said the letters had carried a threatening sign and accused the judges of being responsible for problems faced by the people of Pakistan.

The staff of two judges had opened the envelopes and found a suspicious powder inside. The matter was reported to the IHC registrar who summoned the police staff deputed for security of the high court, after which a case was registered under Section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the first information report, the letters were received on April 1 and distributed on Tuesday by naib qasid Ikram Ullah. Eight letters addressed to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and other judges were also delivered to their personal secretaries, it added.

The letters were issued with the incomplete address of the sender, the FIR said, The letters while giving reference to Tehreek-i-Namoos Pakistan criticised the justice system, it said, adding that a particular photo and English word “Bacillus Anthracis” were included in the letters for the threat.

Some of the police officials who had come into contact with the powder faced side effects, including irritation, the sources had added.

Speaking to Dawn.com today from inside the LHC premises, Lahore Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Ali Nasir Rizvi said four letters had been received and the investigation was ongoing. He said that other courts were also being checked.

He said that he and Lahore Capital City Police Officer Bilal Siddique Kamyana also met LHC Senior Puisne Judge Justice Shujaat Ali Khan regarding the matter and fully briefed him on it.

Rizvi said the letters were handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Department for investigation.

The DIG refused to elaborate on the nature of the letters or to which judges they were sent, saying that it was “too early” to share anything since the matter was under investigation.

He said a meeting with specialists and experts was scheduled for today which would discuss all aspects of the incident, after which information would be released to the media.