KARACHI: A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of a lawyer, confessed to the crime but the police have yet to find any other evidence, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Advocate Naimat Ali Randhawa, a leader of the lawyers’ wing of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in Sindh, was shot dead by armed motorcyclists in North Nazimabad on September 26. Later, in the evening of October 1, an urgent press conference was held at Central Police Office where Karachi AIG Shahid Hayat informed the media about the arrest of an MQM worker associated with the party’s unit 178, Syed Kazim Abbas Rizvi. “Rizvi killed Randhawa for taking up the Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar case in court,” Hayat had claimed in the press conference. “He was arrested from Gizri and has confessed to have been involved in over half a dozen cases of target killings.”
Following his arrest, the accused was handed over to North Nazimabad police for further investigations but, since then, the investigators have made little progress. “We are relying on the confessions made by the accused,” investigation officer Inspector Mohammad Naeem admitted while talking to The Express Tribune. “We have yet to recover the pistol used in the assassination, find witnesses and other forensic evidence.”
The officer was of the opinion that Rizvi will most likely be released, much like the former MQM MPA Nadeem Hashmi, who was arrested earlier in September. “The court can release him [Rizvi] if we fail to gather proper evidence against him.” The accused is in police remand till October 19 and the law enforcers are trying to their level best to gather evidences against him before producing him in court.
According to the police, the accused revealed his involvement in over half a dozen cases of target killings. “We have only booked him in the murder case of Randhawa, not in any other murder,” said Naeem.
Picked up before
Meanwhile, the alleged target killer’s family and neighbours claimed that Rizvi was picked up by the Rangers in July also, the family said, adding that he was later handed over to Sharae Noor Jehan police, which booked him under murder, police encounter and possession of illegal weapon. “In the murder and illegal weapon possession case, he was acquitted by the court for want of evident,” said Rizvi’s uncle, Sohail Abbas. “Only the police encounter case is pending.”
When Rizvi was arrested again on September 27, the family thought he was being arrested for the same issue. The police assured the family that he will be released after an inquiry.
On the other hand, Inspector Raja Ulfat of Sharae Noor Jahan police station, who was investigating the cases registered against Rizvi, said that the weapon recovered from his possession was a .32 bore revolver. “This revolver is owned by Rizvi’s father and it has a licence,” said Ulfat. “I have never heard of anyone using this kind of a weapon in target killing, which gives him another chance to be released.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2013.