KARACHI: Almost three weeks since the first stabbing incident in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, police have finally claimed to have arrested the prime suspect behind the series of knife attacks.
In a major breakthrough in the case of 13 women being stabbed by a knife-wielding motorcyclist, the police say they arrested a suspect, Muhammad Waseem, who was allegedly involved in several stabbing cases in Punjab as well.
Waseem was arrested by a special police team of the Karachi police lead by District Korangi SSP Captain (retd) Haider Raza who managed the arrest with the assistance of the Sahiwal police.
“I am going to share the good news that we have finally arrested Waseem,” confirmed SSP Raza while talking to The Express Tribune. “But we have yet to officially initiate interrogations.
In an unofficial initial interrogation he denied his involvement,” revealed the police officer.
The police claim to have arrested Waseem from Mandi Bahuddin, Punjab and said it will take a day or two to bring him to Karachi for official interrogations.
“The Lahore police also suspect him of being involved in two similar recent incidents that occurred in Lahore,” the SSP said. “If the Lahore police do not book and arrest him in a case we will take him into custody bring him to Karachi immediately.”
The police plan to bring him to Karachi via road and that will take at least a couple of days.
The reason why the police are so sure of his involvement in the cases in Karachi is because of Waseem’s involvement in over 200 similar cases in Chicha Watni and over 35 cases in his hometown of Sahiwal during 2013 and 2014.
He was arrested by the Sahiwal police in 2015 but was later released in 2016 due to lack of evidence. Since then he had been missing.
The Sahiwal police had also taken his brother and friend into custody in order to obtain information to trace and arrest Waseem when the Karachi police approached the Sahiwal police following the series of attacks on women in Karachi.
“Similar incidents have so far occurred in Chicha Watni, Sahiwal, Karachi and Lahore,” said SSP Raza. “The Karachi and Lahore incidents are the recent ones,” he explained.
The police suspect that Waseem might have been involved in dodging the police and stabbing women in Lahore on October 11 after he became aware that the Karachi police were looking for him.
The police, however, are not even sure whether he is actually involved in the stabbing cases in Karachi.
“We are not sure whether he is involved in the Karachi incidents or not,” the SSP admitted. “But at least we can clear him [if he wasn’t involved] and can focus on searching for the other guy with complete concentration.”
So far at least 13 women have been injured in several incidents in parts of District East – Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Dalmia, Rashid Minhas Road, Pehlwan Goth and PIB Colony – while a dozen cases have also been registered since the incidents began on September 25.
The police issued the suspected attacker’s picture with brief details multiple times, seeking the help of the public in apprehending the attacker. They also announced reward money of Rs1 million for citizens who help the police trace and arrest the suspect.
The style of the attacker depicted in the media shows that he may have a personality disorder, remarked the chairperson of the psychiatry department of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Afridi.
According to him, generally people who attack people in such ways don’t have any particular motives or objectives and actually take pleasure in hurting others.
Dr Afridi remarked that such people are labeled ‘psychopaths’ in older literature, whereas they are called dis-social by the World Health Organisation and ‘antisocial’ in the United States.
“Examination of such people should be done by a psychiatrist,” he said, adding that the suspect must be placed in a rehabilitation programme for treatment before his eventual release as allowing such people to move about in society as they can harm people if their mental conditions are left untreated.