HYDERABAD: One of the main suspects in the murder case of neurosurgeon Dr Aftab Ahmed Qureshi has accused the police of killing the doctor during the raid conducted for his recovery from kidnappers.
“The police thought they have shot a dacoit,” claimed Dr Ashok Kumar, on Monday. He was talking to newsmen while being taken away in a police mobile from the civil court. He had been brought for identification by his landlord.
Kumar, who the police say is a quack, was arrested by Karachi’s Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and the Anti-Violent Crime Cell on May 30. He was staying with his mother, Kamla Devi, on the ground floor while Qureshi was on the first floor of the house.
The crime branch of the Sindh police obtained his remand on the 16th day of his detention, on June 14. “The police officers pulled my hand and took me to the room where the doctor was lying dead,” he said “They said that they had killed a terrorist but I told them he was actually the doctor,” Kumar said. As he pleaded his innocence Kumar burst into tears and said that he was worried about his mother whom he hadn’t seen for the past two weeks. Though the police claim that they have released Kamla Devi, her whereabouts are not known.
Meanwhile, the landlord of the house, Ghulam Sarwar Noonari, recorded his statement in the civil courts. He said that six people had met him for renting the house and named them as Dr Ashok Kumar, Dr Daud Gishkori, Zain Jathyal, Ghulam Ali Khoso and Akhtar Siyal. “We settled at Rs25,000 per month as rent and an advance of Rs50,000.” Noonari also said that Kumar and his mother were the first ones to begin living in the house.
However, Kumar claimed that he was kidnapped and spent the past 1.5 months in the house as a captive, not as a kidnapper. He also claimed to have passed on the information to DSP Ghulam Mustafa Memon in Karachi which eventually led to the raid by the law enforcers. “The crime branch DIG Farhat Junejo has assured me that he will do justice. I have told them everything.”
DIG Junejo disclosed the names of eleven people, including three of Qureshi’s employees, who he alleged were involved in the kidnapping.
He said that six men had been arrested while five are still at large. On Monday the police also obtained the judicial remand for five other men, Imdad Ali Solangi, Azhar Solangi, Farooq Laghari, Aziz Barejo and Hoth Banglani.
While many questions remain unanswered, one of them being – what made Kumar change his mind and tip-off the police if he himself was part of the plan. The DIG, however, maintains that one of the kidnappers had misbehaved with his mother and Kumar then decided to part ways with them by informing the police.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.