KARACHI: An inquiry has been initiated to probe the alleged custodial killing of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker who was arrested by police over his alleged involvement in the May 12, 2007 violence.
Police have refuted allegations of the incident being an extrajudicial killing and said the party worker, a diabetic, died during treatment in hospital.
However, Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja, while taking notice of the ‘mysterious’ death, has sought a report from the East DIG and asked him to ascertain the actual cause of the worker’s death.
Mehmood Khan was arrested by Malir police during a raid at his residence in Surjani Town on August 11. “Four cases were registered against him,” claimed Malir police chief SSP Rao Anwar. “One of the cases registered against him at the Airport police station related to the May 12, 2007 attacks.” SSP Anwar said that the accused was produced before an anti-terrorism court and after completion of remand, was handed over to the jail police. “We didn’t torture him,” he claimed, adding that, “He was a patient of diabetes and might have had some infection in his foot and died apparently after improper medical treatment.”
The deceased was taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi on Sunday where he died during treatment. Anwar further said that besides being an MQM worker, the deceased was also serving as a constable in the police department as well as the fire brigade, adding that he also had a criminal record as several cases were registered against him in the past.
On the other hand, the family of the deceased MQM worker claimed that he was badly tortured by the police before being given to the jail police and demanded a judicial inquiry over the “extrajudicial killing” of their loved one. Police surgeon Dr Ejaz had told The Express Tribune that Khan’s body was not brought for medico-legal examination as he died during treatment at the facility and his family took the body home instead. Civil hospital’s additional medical superintendent Dr Abdul Qadir Siddiqui said the patient was diabetic and a magistrate was called in when he passed away to observe the situation.
Late Sunday night, MQM’s Khawaja Izharul Hasan condemned the killing of their senior worker at a press conference at Farooq Sattar’s residence in PIB colony.
Hasan said Khan was an employee of the fire brigade department and a senior worker of the party, adding that “we will not back down from our legitimate demands and raising the issue of extrajudicial killings of our workers.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2016.