KARACHI: Shunem Kamran was waiting for her twin brother, Shalem Kamran, Sunday morning to surprise their mother on Mother’s Day. She never thought she would receive a call that same morning, asking her about the hospital that her brother’s body should be taken to.
Twenty-four-year-old Shalem Kamran was found dead mysteriously at a flat in Mehmoodabad where he went to party late Saturday night along with six other friends.
“He informed me that he is going to his best friend Ahmed Paracha’s house at the Sea View apartments and would come back early morning so we can plan something for mum,” shared Shunem. “He never used to lie to me, as I was his best friend and twin.” Talking about the last time she saw her brother, Shunem said she served him pizza and cake when he returned from his office. He rested an hour before going to meet his friends, she said. “If Shalem was going to Mehmoodabad, he would have told me the truth,” she said, adding that he called her from a nearby market at 12:15am, asking her if she wanted anything.
According to Shunem, the friends are changing their statements again and again. “Also, their statements differ from each other,” she said, adding that their confusion is more doubtful for the family.
Talking about that night, Shunem said Shalem came home around 10pm from work. “But his friends kept calling him to come early for the party,” she said. She then showed messages from Ahmed, which she received at 10:52am on Sunday, saying that there is an emergency and she should receive his call. She added that Ahmed had earlier called her once at 6:33am, which she missed.
“After that message, when Ahmed called again, he was so calm when he informed me that my brother is no more and that he had a heart attack,” Shunem cried as she recalled. According to her, she thought the friend was joking. “But then, a man who was Ahmed’s brother-in-law took the phone from him and asked me if they should bring the body to National Medical Centre (NMC) or Jinnah hospital.”
Shunem said that this was the moment when she realised that something is serious. She asked them to take her brother to NMC and informed her younger brother, Elijah Kamran, and her mother, Shagufta Kamran. “We rushed to NMC as it was closer,” said Shunem as she wept. “We had waited for more than 45 minutes when an ambulance came, in which there was no one except the dead body of my twin brother.” She added that none of the six friends who had invited Shalem to come over bothered to come along with the body.
At the family’s insistence, the hospital conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him. However, Shunem heard the doctors talking amongst themselves, saying that Shalem had been dead for hours.
To get the post-mortem done and to ascertain the exact cause of the death, the body was shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). However, since Shalem’s mother serves as a nurse at Civil Hospital, Karachi, she wanted the autopsy to be conducted there to rule out the possibility of the results tampering.
Shunem said that of the six friends, only three showed up at NMC. According to her, they started making up stories – someone said he had chest pains, started vomiting and had a heart attack while another said that he was upset, depressed and committed suicide.
As soon as Ahmed came to the hospital along with his mother and brother-in-law, they started telling us not to worry about finances, said Shunem, adding that they will help us out and will get the entire autopsy done. According to Shunem, she denied the offer and said that they will do whatever they can to get justice for their brother.
Inside the room
Meanwhile, Shunem’s younger brother, Elijah, shared the account of the driver who brought the body from the apartment to NMC. According to him, the driver told him that the boys called, saying that their friend is in a critical condition. When he reached the flat, which was on the second floor, Ahmed’s family was already there. Elijay added that the driver was provided with the key of the room, which was locked. When he opened the door, Shalem was lying dead on the floor. “His lips, teeth and face were black, his body was cold and his legs were pale,” Elijay said, recounting what the driver told him.
According to Shagufta, the mother, the flat was empty and dusty and there was no sign of a party having happened there at all. “It seemed Shalem was shifted there after he died,” she said, adding that she has a feeling her son died at Ahmed’s house, after which they shifted him. “His clothes were changed, he was barefoot and didn’t even have his underpants on.”
According to the autopsy report, there was no alcohol in the body of the deceased and his heart and throat were fine. To ascertain the cause of the death, the report suggested a chemical analysis. The specimens for the chemical analysis have been sent today and the results will be out in 15 to 30 days.
‘We want justice’
While the family registered an FIR against the six men, only Ahmed is under arrest and on remand for five days. The others are still at large. “Ahmed admitted that one of the boys, Jahanzaib, gave Shalem two tablets to eat – one red and the other brown in colour,” Shagufta told The Express Tribune.
The family said that Shalem never mentioned the other five men as his friends – the only familiar friend was Ahmed for the family. The others have been identified as Ali Ahsan Qureshi, Jahanzaib Qureshi, Faisal Malik, Ali Rasheed and Osama Ali Raja.
“We just want justice and the true story to come out,” said Shunem, adding that the family will not get their son back but at least they should know what actually happened that night. “Whatever happened, whether it was an accident or not, at least our family should know.” They added that the police are not cooperating as much as they should.
According to Shunem, Shalem was concerned about his family all the time. “We aren’t that strong financially so he was supporting everyone,” she shared, adding that he was very social, he liked taking pictures and buying gifts for his family. Shunem said he used to fear death. “Shalem used to ride his bike dead slow just so that he won’t get into an accident and die,” she added.
Meanwhile, the investigations inspector of the case, Nusrat Shah, told The Express Tribune that they are conducting raids to arrest the other men nominated in the FIR. He said that Ahmed, who is in custody, has told them that they all took some tablets, after which Shalem went to sleep. When they woke up in the morning, they found him dead in the room, he added. “A detailed investigation report will be out once all the six boys will be arrested,” he said. “It is too early to say what exactly happened.”