KARACHI: A teenager, who lost his life on Saturday during an exchange of fire between the police and drug peddlers in the Gadap City area, was laid to rest amid tears on Sunday. Meanwhile, the inquiry committee has yet to produce any headway in the investigation of the teenager's killing.
Sixteen-year-old Bilal, son of Azeem was killed and Shakeel, 20, son of Sanam Khan, was wounded during an exchange of fire between the police and drug peddlers when, according to the police, a raid was conducted on a tip-off at the drug den of Jannat Gul in Gadap City Saturday afternoon. The drug peddlers attacked police personnel, resorting to indiscriminate fire.
Following Bilal's killing, a large number of his family and neighbours blocked main Super Highway near Karachi for several hours, shouting slogans against the police and demanding that the perpetrators be held accountable.
Karachi youth killed in crossfire between police, drug peddlers
They blocked one side of the highway by placing Bilal's body on the road and erecting barricades. Some of the protesters even set fire to tyres in the middle of the carriageway to stop the flow of traffic.
Hundreds of commuters remained stuck in traffic for several hours as the thoroughfare was blocked by the demonstrators.
The demonstrators, however, ended the protest after Karachi Additional IG Dr Amir Shaikh formed an inquiry team under the supervision of East Zone DIG Amir Farooqi to investigate the matter. IG Shaikh also ordered to register a case if the police personnel were found to be involved in the youth's death. Although the inquiry committee has initiated investigations, no major development has been made yet.
A senior police official privy to the matter revealed that statements of the victim's families, neighbours, arrested drug peddlers and the police personnel who participated in the raid and encounter were being recorded.
Meanwhile, the police is waiting for the forensic report of the ballistics cross-matching to ascertain who shot the teenager.
Caught in the crossfire
"First of all, we have to ascertain whether the teenager was innocent or with the drug dealers. Secondly, we have to ascertain which bullet hit him," explained an officer, adding that a case will be registered against the policemen involved if it is confirmed in the inquiry that the teenager was innocent and killed by police firing.
Police officials said they were also waiting for the postmortem report of the deceased, which is likely to be released today (Monday).
According to the initial postmortem report, the deceased was shot by at least two bullets.
"One bullet crossed his shoulder while the second crossed through his chest," revealed the initial postmortem report. Both bullets appeared to be of a large firearm which had been shot from a distance, suggesting that he was killed by police firing, according to the initial postmortem report.
Seven-year-old girl shot dead in Gizri
The funeral prayers of the deceased were offered near his house located at Khilji Goth in Gadap City. It was attended by a large number of people. Bilal was later laid to rest at a local graveyard.