KARACHI: Two young men were injured in an alleged encounter, making it the third such incident to take place this year.
Last week, a young man lost his life as a result of police firing while another young man from Lyari, Zakariya Janjua, was shot dead in a similar incident on January 1.
On Wednesday, two friends - Fareed and Zakir - were wounded during an alleged encounter with the police near Mira Naka within the limits of the Sher Shah police station. The injured were first moved to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and later shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for medical treatment. Their wounds were not life threatening, as they were shot in their legs.
The young men blamed the police for conducting a fake encounter. Both men are residents of Mira Naka where the alleged encounter took place. "We were on our way home from work when the police signaled us to stop," explained Zakir from his hospital bed. "Before we could stop the motorcycle, the police fired at us." Zakir said that he fell on the road after he received the bullet wound. "After shooting Zakir, they [cops] also fired at me," said Fareed. "I asked them not to fire but they shot me."
Following the incident, a score of their family members, friends and neighbours reached JPMC after being informed of the incident and staged a protest against a police. "It was a fake encounter," claimed the family while protesting outside the hospital's emergency ward. "The policemen responsible for the incident should be arrested and punished," they demanded.
Police authorities have ordered an inquiry into the incident but, so far, no policeman has been taken into custody. The incident occurred when a police patrolling officer ASI Ghulam Shabbir, along with four cops, was conducting snap-checking near Mira Naka.
"My jawans intercepted them after receiving information from the Madadgar Helpline 15 about armed men snatching valuables in the area," claimed Sher Shah SHO Ghulam Hussain Rajper. "They [the suspects] opened fire at the police when they were asked to surrender and then the police fired at them in retaliation," claimed the officer.
He said that the families of the suspects are trying to change the nature of the incident by staging a protest but the reality is that it was not a fake encounter. The SHO claimed that the alleged victims of the robbery vanished during the encounter and the police was trying to trace them to identify the suspects. The officer also claimed to have recovered two pistols and two cell phones from the suspects' possession. Three cases of possessing illegal weapons, police encounter and robbery have so far been registered against the injured suspects while further investigation is underway.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.
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