‘Key suspect’ in wholesaler’s murder arrested: CTD

Police claim the suspect killed Abbas Ali Merchant in Bhains Colony in 2015


Our Correspondent February 18, 2018
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claims to have made a major breakthrough in the murder of a wholesale cattle feed and medicine supplier in Karachi by arresting the key suspect.

"The key suspect involved in the case has been arrested," said CTD Incharge Raja Omar Khattab. "The accused was arrested during a raid conducted on a tip-off in the Sohrab Goth area."

Abbas Ali Merchant was a big name in the cattle business. Well respected among the business community, Merchant had been a wholesale supplier of cattle feed and medicines for the last 30 years.

He was shot dead at a cattle farm located in the city's biggest cattle market, Bhains Colony, in August, 2015. The police had initially claimed that Merchant lost his life in an armed clash with a rival group, however, investigations later revealed that it was a pre-planned attack.

Police officials said that the prime suspect, Chaudhry Shabbir, had called Merchant to the farm to settle a long-standing dispute, adding that soon after Merchant arrived at the farm, accompanied by four of his personal guards, Shabbir's men attacked them. Merchant and two of his security guards were killed while Shabbir's cousin Muhammad Hussain also killed in the incident. It was later revealed that Shabbir was himself involved in Hussain’s killing and blamed it on Merchant.

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Shabbir and Merchant had been involved in a monetary dispute for some time. Merchant had invested nearly Rs80 million in a business venture of Shabbir, however, he was later told that the business had gone into a complete loss.

Khattab said that the arrested suspect was also produced before an anti-terrorism court while further investigation is under way.

Separately, the Rangers claimed to have arrested at least 13 suspects during ongoing targeted raids in the city. Two suspected militants of banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were arrested during a targeted raid conducted in Kharadar. The suspects were later identified as Abdul Aleem and Tariq. According to a Rangers spokesperson, the suspects were involved in various cases of targeted killing, extortion and anti-state activities.

In another raid, a suspected gangster belonging to Lyari, identified as Kumail, was arrested during a raid conducted in Kharadar. The spokesperson said that the accused has confessed to his involvement in various cases of crime, including a grenade attack in the Shah Alam Market in 2015. The Rangers also arrested a political worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – London in the same area. The accused, Raheel Kaleem, is suspected of being an extortionist.

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Meanwhile, four suspected street criminals, Niaz Hussain, Dil Sher, Raheed and Ghulam Rasool, were arrested in Gulshan-e-Maymar while five drug peddlers who were later identified as Shahzaib, Nawaz Ali, Sharif, Rafiq and Abid Ali were arrested during separate raids conducted by the Rangers in Madina Colony, Kharadar, Gulshan-e-Maymar and Zaman Town. Arms and narcotics were also recovered from their possession. The suspects were later handed over to the police.

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