KARACHI – Days after a young man along with four others was killed in encounters with Karachi police in the port city, another man died Saturday after caught in the crossfire between the law enforcement agencies and a group of suspected robbers.
Maqsood succumbed to bullet wounds in his back at the hospital minutes after the alleged police encounter on Karachi’s Drig Road, while three others – identified as Ali, Babar and Ibrahim – got severely wounded.
The deceased was travelling in an auto rickshaw during the shootout.
Police, in an initial statement, asserted that Maqsood was killed by the law enforcement authorities in a shootout near Faisal Base at Shahra-e-Faisal while branding him a street robber.
However, hours later, the police authorities backtracked from their initial statement by stating that the innocent citizen was in fact killed due to the firing of the real suspect engaged in a shootout with the police.
One of the five sisters of Masqood has refused to accept the claim of police officials. “Police officials conduct fake encounters, and kill the innocents. The criminal is saved but my brother, who was innocent, was targeted. He received bullets in his back,” she told the media. She appealed to Nawaz Sharif for justice.
Authorities claim that two suspects, Ali and Babar, were arrested while their accomplice Ibrahim managed to flee from the site. They added that the suspects were involved in more than 10 incidents in of mobile snatching a month while donning police uniform in the areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Bahadurabad, Dhoraji, Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
The suspects used to target people coming from the Karachi Airport, according to the police. They also claimed to have recovered wireless sets, SMG rifles, mobile phones, pistols and police uniforms from the suspects who were known as members of Irani Gang.
Sindh IGP AD Khawaja lauded his force for this “commendable job”, saying “the gang tried to hold people hostage when police intercepted them. The man was killed due to their firing.”
Responding to the reservations over police performance expressed by late Maqsood’s sister, the police chief said: “If they have doubts that the police is at fault we will conduct an inquiry.”
Last week in a similar incident, a young man hailing from South Waziristan tribal agency was killed in an alleged encounter with a police team led by SSP Rao Anwar in Karachi.
Naseem Mehsud alias Naqeebullah was gunned down in a ‘fake’ encounter in the city’s Shah Latif Town.
His death has attracted widespread rage from tribal people as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Before Naqeebullah’s extra-juducial killing, a teenager was shot dead by the personnel of Anti-Car Lifting Cell of the Sindh Police.
The police had earlier maintained that the boy, identified as 19-year-old Intezar Ahmed, was killed in firing by unidentified assailants on motorcycles. However, later it was disclosed that the law enforcement authorities opened fire at Ahmed’s car after he failed to stop his vehicle in Defence Housing Authority’s Khayaban-e-Ittehad area.
Six members of the Karachi’s Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) were taken into custody for the boy’s murder on Jan 14.