Eight people have been arrested in the city of Kulob on suspicion of being involved in blowing up the car of Salim Saivalizoda, the head of the organization of the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) in Kulob region of Khatlon province.

Acting chief prosecutor in the Kulob region, Hamzali Muzofirov, stated this yesterday at a news conference in the city of Kulob. 

According to him, Investigation into the explosion of Saivalizoda’s car has been designated “secret.”

“After the incident that occurred in early January this year, two people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in that crime and criminal proceedings have been instituted against them under the provisions of two articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 179 – terrorism; and Article 307 -- public calls to forcibly change the constitutional order,” Muzofirov said, noting that later six other people were arrested.

“Currently, eight people are being under arrest, and two of them are the main suspects in the car bombing,” said acting chief prosecutor.  “They [those two main suspects] had contacts and collaborated with extremist groups.  They even videotaped their crimes.  Most of their accomplices have been identified.  And now they will also be arrested, therefore, investigation into this case has been designated “secret.”

He added that those people have also been involved in terrorist acts in other districts of the region.  Muzofirov refrained from further comments.   

All those arrested are residents of the city of Kulob Все арестованные являются жителями города Куляба.  However, nothing was reported about their identities.  

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on January 10 that the official car of Salim Saivalizoda, the head of PDPT’s organization in Kulob region, exploded in front of his house in Tudakafsh village on January 5.  As a result of the explosion, Saivalizoda was wounded. 

Authorities reportedly found “remnants of homemade explosive device” at the scene.  It is not yet known for what purpose Saivalizoda’s car was blown up, according to Radio Ozodi.  

The ruling PDPT now has its offices in eighteen cities and districts across the country.  In some districts, the party rents buildings for its district organizations.  

The PDPT organizing committee was established in 1993, and the party itself was established on December 10, 1994.  Until April 1998, it was called the People's Party of Tajikistan.

The party stands for a secular state and society (secularism).

The People’s Democratic Party is the largest political party in Tajikistan, boasting more than 600,000 registered members.  President Emomali Rahmon is chairman of the party.

The party has its branches in all regions and largest settlements of Tajikistan.  The youth wing of the party is called the Sozandagoni Vatan (Creators of the Motherland).