KARACHI: A former SHO arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Lyari gangster Arshad Pappu has confessed that he was working for Pappu's rival Uzair Baloch.
The Rangers had arrested the former Lyari police station SHO, Chand Khan Niazi, for his alleged involvement in the abduction and murder of Pappu on February 25 from Gulistan Colony, Lyari. The accused is currently in the Rangers' custody after being produced before an anti-terrorism court. Niazi was declared a proclaimed offender by the court and had since disappeared. Two other former SHOs - Yousuf Baloch and Javed Baloch - are already in jail in the same case.
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According to sources in the Lyari police, Niazi and his accomplices abducted Pappu from Defence Housing Authority in March 2013 and later handed Pappu, his brother and another man, Pathan, over to Uzair. The policemen were reportedly paid millions of rupees for handing Pappu and the others over to Uzair. The rival group then brutally murdered Pappu.
Niazi, a close companion of Uzair, reportedly confessed to the authorities that he and another former SHO, inspector Abid Tanoli, used to act upon the gangster's orders. Sources in the Lyari police claimed the suspect made startling revelations regarding police personnel working for the gang leader.
He revealed that a number of police officers, from SSPs to constables, used to work for Uzair. The suspect has named 14 officers, including Lyari SP Raees Ghani who recently died of a heart attack, Baghdadi SHO Tanoli and inspector Imtiaz Niazi, as those working for the gangster. He also admitted that police constable Farooq Niazi used to work as a beater for the gang. Both serving and retired police officials can be summoned for questioning during the investigation.
Former Lyari SP Shahnawaz Khan, whose name was also included among the 14 police officers, refuted all allegations against him. "Uzair Baloch was not present in Lyari as he had fled abroad during my posting in Lyari," the retired officer told The Express Tribune. Khan served as Lyari SP from September 2013 to October 2014.
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"Even Niazi was underground when I was serving as Lyari SP, so how does he know about my links to Uzair Baloch? He is not telling the truth," asserted Khan, adding that there had been a massive decrease in crime in Lyari during his posting. "I was the officer who restored peace in Lyari," he claimed. "My seniors are happy with me. I was going to hold a press conference over the allegations but my seniors asked me to just wait and watch. I am ready to face any inquiry," he said.
Uzair was arrested by the Rangers on January 30 while trying to enter Karachi from the city's suburbs and was handed to the Rangers for 90 days by the court.
Separately, three suspected gangsters were apprehended during a raid in Lyari on Wednesday. The arrests were made when law enforcement agencies conducted a raid near Slaughter House after an exchange of fire between the gangsters and the police. The suspects were later identified as Javed, Suleman and Naveed. Police officials said that the suspects are affiliated with the Baba Ladla group and were involved in various cases of crime. The suspects were shifted to an undisclosed location for further questioning.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2016.
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