Murder charges registered against prime suspect in DHA hit-and-run case

Published: December 5, 2017

KARACHI: Eighteen-year-old Zafir Fahim Zubairi, who lost his life in a tragic incident on Sunday in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), was laid to rest on Monday.

The funeral prayers were offered at Sultan Masjid in DHA and the boy was buried in the Phase I Graveyard. A large number of people attended the funeral, however, no government officials were present. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders Ali Zaidi and Imran Ismail attended the funeral.

Zafir was killed while his friend Zaid was injured when Khawar Burney, the prime suspect who is already in custody, opened indiscriminate fire on the victim’s Mercedes on Sunday morning near Do Darya. Zafir and his friends were apparently trying to flee after hitting and injuring the rider of a heavy motorcycle. Burney and a group of others chased the vehicle and opened fire, killing Zafir and injuring Zaid. The other two passengers were unhurt.

The suspects managed to escape from the scene, however, the police arrested them Sunday evening during a raid at their residence on Allama Iqbal Road. A case has been registered against Burney for Zafir’s death and Zaid’s injury.

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In his latest statement, Burney has admitted to the crime but tried to defend himself. “Yes, I opened fire but I had no intention to kill anyone. I just wanted to stop their car by bursting the Mercedes’ tyres,” he claimed.

On the other hand, the motorcyclist, Dr Rahim, denied association with the accused. “Neither did I know the victims nor do I know the suspects. I don’t have any relationship with anyone,” he claimed in a video statement.

Police officials believe, however, that Dr Rahim is acquainted with the suspects. “Dr Rahim was with the suspects. He was there [Do Darya] to race his motorcycle when the accident occurred. A black coloured Vigo was also with him, which his security guard was driving. The Vigo also chased the Mercedes,” said District South SSP Javed Akbar Riaz. “We have also recovered the Vigo and the guard’s repeater gun. But we do not have any evidence suggesting whether the gun was used at the crime scene.”

Zafir’s friends who were with him at a time of incident claimed that the accused did not attempt to stop the car. “They [suspects] had automatic weapons as well. They just opened indiscriminate fire at us instead of stopping us. The indiscriminate firing compelled us to speed up to save our lives,” narrated Arham, one of the friends, in a video statement that went viral on social media.

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Meanwhile, some family members of the deceased appeared unsatisfied with the police for not adding sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the FIR. “The police just added the common sections of murder and attempted murder in the FIR,” said a relative. “These common sections will help the suspects get bail from the courts.” The police should add a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act, as it was a case of terrorism, said the relative, adding that they will approach the court soon to add the anti-terrorism clause in the case.

On the other hand, SSP Riaz said that the family itself, particularly the deceased’s father, did not complain to the police about not placing the anti-terrorism clause in the FIR, however, some of their relatives and their lawyer wanted to do so.

“It is not a big issue to add or remove sections in the FIR. We can add it into the FIR later but we did not place it now because the suspects can take advantage of it by accusing the police of being biased,” SSP Riaz explained.

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