25-year-old caught in the crossfire during police-robbers gunfight

One killed, another injured in encounter on Sharae Faisal

Our Correspondent January 21, 2018

KARACHI: A police encounter on Sharae Faisal claimed the life of a passer-by Saturday. The victim was a 25-year-old tailor, Muhammad Maqsood.

The encounter, which occurred on Sharae Faisal, near Karsaz Road, was between a police team and four dacoits. Two were arrested in an injured condition while the others managed to escape. Arms were also recovered from the suspects.

The dacoits were involved in looting citizens travelling to the airport while donning police uniforms. The Sharae Faisal SHO Ali Hassan has confirmed that a citizen lost his life in the exchange of fire. The police claim the fatal shots were fired by the dacoits. He said two citizens and two robbers were injured in the firing. One of the citizens, Maqsood, succumbed to his wounds, while his friend, Rauf, a rickshaw driver, was injured.

The encounter between police and robbers continued for quite a while. The area resonated with the sound of gunshots.

The SHO said that a suspicious white car had been spotted in the area for the past few days, due to which the police had increased its presence. He said when the driver of the car was signaled to stop, the suspects abandoned the car and tried to flee in a rickshaw on the other side of the road. They opened fire on the police and in the ensuing fire two robbers were injured while another two managed to escape. The injured robbers have been identified as Babar and Ali.  The suspects have also carried out criminal activities in New Town and Bahadurabad, claimed the SHO.

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Initially, the police shifted the injured persons to the police station instead of the hospital. It took a long time for the police to take them to the hospital. Rauf and Maqsood were initially treated as the robbers’ accomplices. However, they were later cleared. Another passenger in the rickshaw was taken into custody for interrogation.

The police spoke to his employer via mobile phone and were told that he has a flight to Lahore the next day at 8am, but the police did not allow him to leave.

The victim

Maqsood was travelling to the airport in a rickshaw with his friend, Rauf, who was driving the vehicle. The victim was the only brother among five sisters and was the family’s sole bread earner. Maqsood lived in Lines Area in a rented house. His neighbours remember him as a polite man who always treated others with respect.

His grief-stricken sisters even showed the pieces of cloth he used to sew at home. The victim’s body was initially brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and was later shifted to the Thanvi morgue in Lines Area.

The home minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He has directed the East DIG to record the statements of the policemen involved in the incident as well as those of the rickshaw driver and Maqdood’s family. The minister has also instructed that legal action should be taken if negligence is proved. Sindh Inspector-General of Police Allah Dino Khawaja has also summoned a detailed report from East SSP Samiullah Soomro. Soomro has vowed that a transparent inquiry will be conducted and those responsible will be punished. IG Khawaja has praised the police and announced a reward of Rs200,000.


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