HYDERABAD: A leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – Shaheed Bhutto was shot and critically injured in an alleged police encounter late Friday night.
According to the police, the injured suspect, Irshad Khaskheli, engaged the police in an exchange of fire after the latter raided a place in Loha market area on a tip-off for his arrest.
Khaskheli and his family, however, claim that he was arrested from Qasimabad four to five hours before the alleged fake encounter. “After his arrest, he was kept at the Hussainabad police station [in Qasimabad taluka]. But his encounter has been shown to have taken place in the limits of the Phuleli police station [in City taluka],” Khaskheli’s wife, Kiran claimed. She also showed a photograph on her mobile phone of her husband locked inside the Hussainabad police station.
Khaskheli was shot in the right leg and taken to Liaquat University Hospital for surgery. “I was blindfolded and taken to an unknown place from Hussainabad police station. Then they [police] shot me in the leg,” he told the media at the hospital before his referral to Karachi’s Jinnah hospital.
A doctor, who requested anonymity, claimed that the patient could have bled to death as the bullet hit a main artery in his leg.
The police also cordoned off the hospital’s emergency ward and allegedly misbehaved with journalists who had reached the hospital to cover the news. One of the journalist claimed that SHO Asad Parehar snatched his mobile phones, which were returned after over three hours. The police spokesperson, Mazhar Shani, claimed that Khaskheli is an extortion seeker, who has been booked in 18 cases and that he was also absconding in some FIRs.
The Hyderabad police have won notoriety for staging fake encounters. The terms ‘half fry’ for injuring a suspect and ‘full fry’ for killing one are frequently attributed to such encounters. Two years ago, on October 12, 2015, Khaskheli’s brother, Niaz Khaskheli, was shot dead in a police encounter in Hyderabad.