KARACHI: Dr Imran Wasi, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at the Lyari General Hospital was being threatened by ‘gangsters’ a day before he was gunned down at Lea Market, officials revealed on Saturday.
Fifty-five-year-old Dr Wasi was shot dead when he was in his car heading to his clinic in Ranchore Line on Thursday. Two men on a motorcycle attacked him when his car slowed down. He was hit twice, in neck and shoulder.
“He was going to a private clinic after working at the Lyari General,” said a staffer, requesting anonymity. “A day before the incident, some gangsters had come to the hospital and one of them had a bullet injury in his neck. They asked Dr Wasi to treat him but the doctor refused, saying that he would never help ‘people like you’.”
Dr Wasi was an honest man who always preferred helping needy people and therefore, he refused to treat the injured gangster, the staffer said. When he refused, the gangsters warned him that they would kill him. “In my opinion, the same culprits are behind the killing.”
However, the suspects are unlikely to be arrested as there is no one ready to record any statement or appear in court against them, officials claim.
Meanwhile, case investigator Syed Mumtaz Hussain Shah said he has also heard of the scuffle between Dr Wasi and the alleged gangsters. “To proceed with the case, we need recorded statements and no one is cooperating. Everyone fears for their lives,” the officer said. “There is no doubt though that the gangsters are behind the killing as Dr Wasi was also shot in the neck like the injured gangster [symbolising revenge].” Everything in the case is clear but the police are investigating the case from all angles, said SIO Shah.
The police also found the body of the suspected gangster and later identified him as Asim Baloch.
Witnesses have also indicated that the gangsters were behind the killing. “The Peoples Aman Committee (PAC) [practically] run a government in Lyari,” claimed an elderly resident of the area. “Only the PAC or the gangsters can do anything in Lyari, otherwise, no one has the courage to come inside the area. There is zero street crime in Lyari as everyone fears the PAC.”
A shopkeeper, who witnessed the murder, reported that they had shot the doctor three times, but they missed once. “The suspects did not fear the police while they were shooting and escaping. They collected the empty shells from the crime scene before fleeing to the Jumman Shah Plot area,” he recounted. “If you know Lyari, you can easily understand that no criminal or resident can go to the Jumman Shah Plot area. That is the PAC stronghold.”
Interestingly, their motorcycle slipped and they escaped on foot. Dr Wasi’s family, however, do not suspect anyone. “What can we say about who was behind the killing,” said Irfan, Dr Wasi’s twin brother. “He never fought with anyone. So why would someone kill my brother?”
When The Express Tribune contacted the president of the PAC, Shahid Rehman, he said in response to the allegations that there was no such thing. He claimed that the Jumman Shah area borders Usmanabad and the criminals could have gone there.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2011.