KARACHI: Funeral prayers of the youth shot dead in a public park by Rangers were held in Karachi on Thursday.
Scores of people attended the funeral prayers of 19-year-old student Sarfaraz Shah, who was shot at point blank range in a public park in an incident filmed live and broadcast on television on Wednesday. Shah’s body has been taken by relatives for burial.
Earlier, Shah’s relatives took his body and protested outside the house of the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah demanding that the soldiers be arrested. The CM ordered an inquiry and suspended a senior police official for charging the youth with robbery after his death. Police subsequently arrested the five Rangers involved in the incident, and a case has been registered against Afzal and Shahid Zafar.
The Rangers claim that Shah had tried to rob a policeman’s family. A police official later told AFP on condition of anonymity that only a toy gun had been recovered.
Town Police Officer (TPO) Tarik Dharajo said that five Rangers personnel had been arrested following this incident. He added, however, that legal action cannot be initiate against them till they are court-martialled, as they are paramilitary security officials.
Dharejo said that they will be charged under the Pakistan Penal Code.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani took notice of the killing on Thursday, and ordered an inquiry into the matter. The prime minister promised to personally handle the incident.
Senator Raza Rabbani compared the extra-judicial killing to the Kharotabad killing in which five foreigners were shot dead by security officials.
President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and prominent human rights activist, Asma Jahangir also condemned the killing.
“Seeing this, anyone can guess how brutalised our society has become,” Jahangir told AFP.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered the arrest of the soldiers involved and a departmental inquiry.
“This act is extremely unlawful, even if the youth was a robber it did not merit to kill him like this,” Malik told TV channels.
“The suspects in the incident have been arrested. I have ordered for a thorough inquiry.”
Footage of the incident, filmed by an unidentified cameraman, was broadcast repeatedly on local television stations.
In it, a soldier can be seen dragging the man, then throwing him towards half a dozen armed comrades, one of whom then shot the 19-year-old twice at point-blank range as he begged for his life.
The park where the incident took place is named after assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, whose family home is in Clifton.
Correction: June 9, 2011
Initial reports claimed that Sarfaraz Shah was 25 years old. Latest reports say that he was 19 years old.