KARACHI: In a startling about-face from his claims made hardly three days ago, District South DIG Javed Alam Odho said on Saturday that 10-year-old Aymal, who was killed in crossfire between police and robbers near Gizri on August 13, was shot dead by the police fire.
A day after the incident, Odho had told The Express Tribune that “according to the forensics report, the fatal bullet was fired from the suspects’ pistol”, adding that the prime suspect has been killed by the police while two others had fled the crime scene.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Odho revealed that two policemen were detained for their involvement in the killing of the minor girl on the eve of the 71st Independence Day of Pakistan. The same day, District Zone SSP Omar Shahid Hamid had claimed that Aymal was shot dead by robbers near Gizri, after which one of the robbers was killed by the police when they were attempting to rob another citizen on Korangi Road. It had later emerged that the minor was killed in crossfire between the law enforcers and robbers.
On Saturday, DIG Odho said that a detailed investigation was conducted over the incident and both the policemen who were on motorcycle patrol and engaged with the robbers that night, were detained after it was ascertained that the girl was killed by their firing.
The officer said that both the policemen, identified as Babar and Javed, were on motorcycle patrol when they came upon the crime scene, adding that the robbers opened fire at them. In retaliation, the police fired back, as a result of which one of the three suspects was killed on the spot while Aymal was also fatally wounded.
DIG Odho said that the victim’s father, Omar Adil, had claimed that Aymal was killed by the cops’ firing, on which Karachi Police chief, AIG Dr Amir Shaikh, had formed a police team to investigate the case.
The police investigators collected evidence from the site, including the CCTV footage, which confirmed that the girl was killed by the firing of police constable, Babar. DIG Odho added that the PC Babar had also killed a criminal during the exchange of fire, who along with his companions, had robbed at least ten people that night.
The officer said the policemen had engaged the criminals to foil the robbery bid, but the bullet had hit and killed the girl by mistake, adding that the policemen had put their own lives on risk to do their duty as they could have been shot too.
When The Express Tribune contacted DIG Odho on Saturday to ask him about the discrepancies in his statements, he said that his first statement was based on the initial findings in the medico-legal officer’s report and the remnants of the bullet parts found on the victim’s body. He added that they had subsequently conducted an inquiry and based on the CCTV footage and forensic evidence, they were now 80% certain that Aymal was killed by the police’s fire. “We will only be a 100% certain once our inquiry is complete,” he added.
Meanwhile, the inquiry report has suggested registering a case against the policeman responsible for the minor’s death.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2018.