Lyari’s gangster Arshad Pappu, who has been struggling to take the reins of the neighbourhood, has been declared dead along with his brother, Arafat, and his close aide, Jumma Shera alias Shera Pathan.
Pappu, who was almost 40 years old, was born in Shershah and entered Lyari’s gang wars after an alleged dispute between his father, Lal Muhammad alias Haji Lalu, and Sardar Abdur Rehman Baloch alias Rehman Dakait in 2002. The two fought over money in a drugs business which caused severe losses to Pappu’s father. To avenge this crisis, Pappu became a gangster.
The alias Pappu was given to him by his father. “During my childhood I was a very healthy boy which is why my father used to call me Pappu,” the Lyari gangster told The Express Tribune during an interview in August 2011. “Since then, everyone close to me calls me that.”
During the peak of his rivalry with Rehman Dakait, Pappu was accused of kidnapping and killing Mama Faizu, the father of the defunct Peoples Amn Committees head Uzair Baloch, who was also a close friend of Rehman.
He was also accused of disrespecting the graves of Rehman’s elders in Mewa Shah graveyard by hurling grenades and running over bulldozers. These two acts deeply angered the rival group.
A person close to him recalled that Pappu’s father scolded his son for kidnapping Mama Faizu for ransom. “He told his son to kill him, otherwise their reputation would be ruined.”
Between 2002 and 2006, Pappu was operating his gang from Shershah and its surrounding areas. Several people from both sides were killed in the clashes between these years.
Pappu was arrested in 2006 and was charged of involvement in around 50 cases of which 20 were for murder, according to one of his lawyers, Mohammad Farooq.
Crime Investigation Department (CID) SSP Fayyaz Khan recalled the day Pappu was arrested. “Given the narrow streets in Lyari, I brought Pappu to the armoured personnel carrier on my motorcycle,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Even he [Pappu] was surprised at this because he knew he was considered a dangerous man. He asked, ‘Am I a goat that you are taking me on a motorcycle?’”
During his time in jail, his chief operations commander Ghaffar Zikri, re-emerged and took control until August 2009 when he switched allegiance and joined Rehman’s gang. However, Rehman was killed two months later, after which Zikri rejoined Pappu’s gang.
“When Pappu was in jail, the gang continued to function and it will operate now too,” said CID Anti-Extremist Cell SSP Chaudhry Aslam.
“Maybe the gang will work better now because Pappu never listened to even his partners.”
Aslam felt that Pappu always pursued money, which was affecting the gang.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2013.