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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Pakistan attack suspect freed
Man consoles women grieving over the death of a relative in the attack
The attack caused shock and anger in the community
A man suspected of involvement in an attack on a Christian charity in the Pakistani city of Karachi has been released by police - but will remain under surveillance.


He will remain under observation for some days to check who is coming to meet him

Unnamed police official
Robin Peradatta, who is himself a Christian, was formally arrested by the police on Tuesday.

But police said they later released him.

He was one of two people who survived an attack on a Christian charity last month, in which seven people died.

'Kidnapped'

Mr Peradatta's lawyers had earlier filed a contempt of court petition against the police, alleging that he had been "kidnapped".

His wife had also expressed concern about his whereabouts.

But police said they had set him free, and had asked him to remain in Karachi.

"We did not have enough evidence to keep him in custody," said Fayaz Leghari, who heads the police investigation wing.

Mr Peradatta was arrested outside a Karachi courthouse on Tuesday almost as soon as he had walked free from four weeks in custody.

Senior police officials said he had been formally arrested on suspicion of having links with those who carried out the attack.

Christian fears

The deaths of the seven charity workers last month sparked a wave of anger in the community and was linked to previous attacks on the Christian minority, which have been blamed on Islamic militants.

But the police say recent investigations suggest that the killings at the Institute of Peace and Justice (IPJ) might have been the result of internal rivalries within the local Christian community in the city.

The attack caused particular shock because of the way it was carried out.

All the victims had had their hands tied and their mouths covered with tape.

They had then been shot in the head.

Attacks on Christians in Pakistan in the past year have left about 40 people dead.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

29 Sep 02 | South Asia
25 Sep 02 | South Asia
09 Aug 02 | South Asia
21 Sep 02 | South Asia
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