KARACHI: Almost a month after the killing of a young man in a controversial police encounter on Sharae Faisal, the police have registered a murder case against four officials of their own.
"A murder case has been registered against all the four cops who participated in the encounter," confirmed Sharae Faisal SHO Ali Hassan. "The case was registered on the directives of the court."
On January 20, 27-year-old Maqsood was shot dead near the Pakistan Air Force base at Sharae Faisal. He was a tailor by profession and lone brother of five sisters.
The police party, which had encountered Maqsood, claimed that he was a criminal and was killed during a shoot-out. However, a few hours later, the police authorities renounced their initial statement and, instead, issued another statement claiming that an 'innocent' citizen was killed in a crossfire between a suspect and the police.
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The police also claimed that two suspects, Ali and Babar, had been arrested while their accomplice, Ibrahim, had managed to escape in the encounter. According to the police, the suspects arrested were involved in several cases of mobile phone snatching and they targeted people coming from the Karachi airport.
Following the incident, Maqsood's sisters reached the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to receive the body where they refused to accept the claim of police officials.
The victim's family also appealed the prime minister as well as the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the killing of their innocent brother in a fake encounter.
The family also approached court as the police did not register the case against their own officials. The police had stuck to their earlier claim that Maqsood was killed by the criminals in crossfire.
The court, however, accepted the family's plea and ordered the police to register a murder case against the cops who participated in the encounter.
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The police have registered an FIR against all the four officials, including ASI Tariq Khan and constables Akram Khan, Abdul Waheed and Shaukat. The officials have also been arrested for investigations and they would be produced before a court today (Monday) for remand.
The victim's father, Sher Muhammad, said that his son was accompanied by his friend, Rauf, who was a rickshaw driver by profession, at the time of the incident. "My son often used to go with Rauf on his rickshaw," he said, adding that Maqsood was with Rauf who was taking a passenger to the airport when the police killed him in the fake encounter.
The bereaved father expressed reservations on the police investigations. He demanded that a judicial inquiry be conducted over the incident and the cops be dealt accordingly with the law.