Uproar on Rangers’ shooting, chief justice takes suo motu notice

Published: June 10, 2011
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Cameraman who recorded video faces death threats; inquiry ordered into the incident.

Cameraman who recorded video faces death threats; inquiry ordered into the incident.

ISLAMABAD: 

The killing of Sarfaraz Shah, 19, caused uproar in the corridors of power on Thursday.

The chief justice of Pakistan has taken suo motu notice of the incident and summoned DG Rangers, the IG and chief secretary of Sindh.

There is hope that finally justice will be served over the extra-judicial killing in broad daylight which earlier was to be an open and shut case had a cameraman in the vicinity not shot footage of the incident.

In a blatant show of force and brutality, the footage showed how an unarmed man, suspected of stealing a mobile phone at gunpoint, was shot by Rangers’ personnel inside a public park in full view of passers-by.

Doctors say Shah, who was fatally wounded by Rangers personnel on Wednesday afternoon in Boat Basin’s Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park, could have been saved had he been brought to the hospital earlier.

A senior doctor at Jinnah hospital, where the victim was brought, said Shah was  still breathing when he was brought in, but collapsed within minutes.

“We tried our best to revive the patient, but it was too late. He had bled profusely and there was nothing much we could do,” he said.

Another doctor at the emergency ward said the victim had suffered three wounds caused by two bullets. One of the bullets pierced the ‘semoral vein’, one of the main arteries above the thigh area, the doctor said.

“Such injuries are always critical and the only chance to save someone in this condition is to bring them to the hospital immediately,” she said, adding there was also bullet hole on the victim’s forearm.

The footage of the incident shows that Sarfaraz was left to bleed on the pavement of the park while Rangers personnel made no effort to rush him to the hospital after shooting him.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari have ordered an inquiry and offered their condolences to the family of the victim.

Inquiries

A high-level meeting presided over by Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and attended by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, DG Rangers Sindh Ijaz Chaudhry and Inspector-General Sindh Police Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari was held Thursday afternoon which discussed Sarfaraz’s extra judicial killing in particular, and the overall law and order situation in the city in general.

Malik, in his comments to the media after the meeting, said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident.

“He is a criminal, we cannot forget that. But no law enforcement authority had the right to kill a suspect,” he added.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh Waqar Mehdi said the meeting decided not to curtail the overreaching powers of Rangers in the city as “such an order would not have set a good precedence.”

The government has zero tolerance for extra judicial murders though, he added as an afterthought.

Mehdi said the meeting decided to set up a joint interrogation team (JIT) comprising senior officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence to probe the incident.

Meanwhile, DG Rangers addressed a late night press conference on Thursday and said that six Rangers personnel involved in the incident had been taken into custody and a board of inquiry headed by a brigadier and including two lieutenant-colonels had been set up to look into the incident.

Despite the footage clearly showing Rangers personnel shooting the unarmed Sarfaraz at point blank range, Chaudhry said that “appropriate action would be taken against the personnel when charges are proved.”

FIR controversy

Interestingly, of the three first information reports (FIR) lodged into the incident, two were against the victim Sarfaraz.

According to police sources, Rangers personnel had immediately rushed to Boat Basin police station on Wednesday to lodge an FIR before any one from the victim’s family could do so.

Police had asked Rangers to bring a private complainant first, which they readily did by lodging the cases on behalf of an individual, Afsar Khan. The first case 225/11 was lodged against Sarfaraz with Sections 393 (attempt to commit robbery), 353 (assault on public servant) and 324 (attempt to murder).

The second case 226/11 with section 13-D dealt with an illegal weapon allegedly recovered from Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz’s brother Saliq Shah told The Express Tribune that police was reluctant to lodge an FIR into the incident and only did so after their sit-in in front of the CM House late Wednesday night.

SHO Boat Basin Inspector Naseer Tanoli Khan was suspended because of the complaint made by the victim’s family.

Saliq lodged a case, 227/11, against six Rangers personnel, including Mohammad Afzal Khan and Shahid Zafar and charged them with section 302/34 of murder.

Rangers’ sources say the six personnel belonged to 32 Wing of the paramilitary force which is deployed in Boat Basin area presently.

SP Tariq Dharejo said that after video footage had been submitted to the police as evidence against Rangers personnel, the two FIRs lodged against Sarfaraz had been quashed.

But Waqar Mehdi said he was not aware how the two FIRs could have been quashed when it was decided at the meeting that charges against Sarfaraz being a suspected robber would be first investigated by the JIT.

Dharejo said police will only act against the personnel after the Rangers’ board of inquiry hands over the investigation to them.

Footage

The footage of the extra judicial killing was made by a cameraman of a Sindhi television channel Awaaz, who was incidentally at the park recording a TV show.

The cameraman, Abdul Salaam Soomro, is reportedly facing death threats and is in hiding.

The matter was also brought to the notice of Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Memon at the Sindh Assembly where journalists held a protest over threats given to their colleague.

Memon assured that all steps would be taken to protect the cameraman involved.

Funeral

Safaraz was buried at a graveyard in Paposh Nagar town where hundreds of people attended his funeral. His brother Saliq said that after the prayers, some people also protested against the Rangers in front of their headquarters near Ziauddin hospital.

He said that during and after the funeral, senior Rangers officials called him and assured him that justice would be served.

“But what justice can they give us? My teenage brother who had just given his matriculation exams was brutally murdered in broad daylight. Can they bring him back?”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2011.

 

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Reader Comments (41)

  • Jamshed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:00AM

    Good show!! Lets just for once for the sake of humanity, punish the culprits.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:48AM

    This sounds a good initiative, but people will love to know the status of ‘missing people case’ and other suo motu actions taken by SC so far. For instance, we haven’t heard of any justice done in case of Sialkot’s hafiz brothers lynching case yet. It seems very convincing that SC strongly believes in mere publicity and nothing else. It is one more lip service by great SC of Pakistan. Suo motu actions is a weapon in the arsenal of Pakistani SC, just another tool to exploit people of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that this state institution is equally corrupt as other state institutions.Recommend

  • Malik
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:53AM

    Good job CJ, why should you stay behind when you can score some points? btw what happened to Saleem Shehzad case, any idea?Recommend

  • Pakistan Khan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:42AM

    SC is the only hope left in Pakistan. All other institutions have turned into mafias.God bless Pakistan.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Jun 10, 2011 - 7:01AM

    Please take a notice of Saleem Shazad as well CJ.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 10, 2011 - 7:24AM

    @Malik:
    @Zahid:
    Totally agree with you. I could not have said it better. CJ is a consummate politician and not really a Jurist. He fooled us all, nay all of Pakistan. Isn’t it sad that there is not one single honest man among a population of 180 million??? Recommend

  • amjad
    Jun 10, 2011 - 7:31AM

    The evidence is obvious. The culprits need to be shot the same way the unarmed person was shot. What kind of country Pakistan is turning inyo?Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Jun 10, 2011 - 7:56AM

    Respected Chief Justice .
    I dont know what justice you can really give to that child or the family but i will request that kindly uphold the rule of law in this country which we expected Supreme Court to develop under your Leadership.
    Agreed, Institutions should be strong and not the person but it seems like that only persons in this country can deliver Justice and not Institutions.
    For once , Punish the heads of such institutions and concerned ministers to let the oppressive force realize that this country has a Law which is followed and No one is above that Law .Recommend

  • Babar Khan Javed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 8:03AM

    I bet you all one trillion dollars that the rangers who killed him will Not be punished. Lets make it two trillion euros in fact.Recommend

  • Krystal
    Jun 10, 2011 - 8:12AM

    It is good to know that when someone is shot like this the people will ask for justice… if only there was as much justice for the animals killed in the world… I wish there were no guns no cages and no class differences… Peace be with you Pakistan!Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Jun 10, 2011 - 8:42AM

    When a robber snatch mobile phone and other belongings we expect that any policeman or ranger could come and protect us from this gunman. At that time if that policeman or ranger man shoot that robber than we shout for extra judicial killing. Self defence is that you have a gun with license and ready to take position against that robber and start shooting killing passer bye also, and go to jail. Why people disgracing our services? In this world of terror and robbers this attitude of law enforcing agencies will deter the robbers, otherwise people are daily robbed in buses, traffic jams and streets, what could public do?Recommend

  • 786
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:03AM

    @Zahid: Agreed 100%.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:14AM

    What the hell is Chief Justice doing. Are we living in a jungle where there is no law/justice for common man????? Rangers should be abolished. This is what they are doing??? CJ sb kindly do something otherwise the same could be happened to your son.

    Wake up Authorities !!!Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:29AM

    From video of this incident its absolutely clear that the young guy tried to snatch the gun from rangers and at one point he almost succeeded but alert rangers saved their weapons and shot him in self defence. All those who hate our law enforcement agencies are hiding this fact. Their mission is to degrade our brave soldiers.Recommend

  • adnanbinraza@hotmail.com
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:33AM

    the dead boy busy in looting a family in park.he was a professional gangster.he was not a innocent child. media should also show those families who lost their dear ones in street crimes by these type of youngsters. i hope every one knows about the sialkot incident.when whole pakistan was feeling sad for them but after inquiry it proved that they were cruel gangsters who killed 4 people including a 7 year old child.but now no media channel is showing thatRecommend

  • Rashid Khan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:36AM

    The incident is deplorable and condemnable but wait for the inquiry findings ordered by the Rangers, which unlike inquires undertaken against these parliamentarians, will be fair and appropriate in its recommendations.
    If the fact finding process is biased and lacks professionalism the CJP should step in but not now.Recommend

  • SA
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:48AM

    @ CJ’s suo motu notice, I have the urge to laugh my lungs out… can anyone recall the sialkot lynching incident?Recommend

  • SA
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:52AM

    CJ definitely has a political career ahead of him…. like everyone else in Pakistani establishment, he is selective on what he takes up. Saleem Shahzad lost out because no one made a video & splashed in on national TV & Youtube…Recommend

  • Bhutto
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:53AM

    Very shameful act by Rangers, If He was a robber so what he was in your hand at that time they can arrest him and punish him according to Law. But unfortunately here in Pakistan no one is abiding laws and regulation even who those have made this law. A young boy was killed and many more are killed regularly but they are said that it was a target killing.

    “Suna hai Jangalon ka bhi koi dastoor hota hai
    mere mulk me bhi koi jangalon ka hi dastoor le aao”Recommend

  • Zarmeena Ikram Babar
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:01AM

    I hope the culprits would get the deserved punishments, and the parents of the poor victim would be gratified with the court’s verdict.

    I would request this from the News Channel -Please stop showing that video on their channels, since its too distressing to watch it and it would be intensify the victim’s family’s sufferings to see their son/brother shown in such a helpless state.
    The video definitely must be on You-Tube, I would further request this from the users, refrain from posting that video- lets have some respect for the victim and his family –
    May Alllah rest his soul in peace! Ameen!Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 10:07AM

    When I say,please don’t mind,because it is a fact and I have personally experience also.

    As for as police depart is concerned it is trying become comprehensive in nature,for example
    bar and bench both and witnesses also.

    A man is arrested,justified or unjustified,interrogated,third method is used without any legal justification,some died in the custody,because they can not tolerated third method,notwithstanding the fact that relevant law grant no permission to use third method.

    Aftermath, other institution take notice ,order inquiry and inquiry takes so many years and in the meanwhile relevant people are exhausted and given up the inquiry and on the other hand
    case file is become rubbish through gutter reached its destination.

    that is still going on,but no one looks who set the procedure to the right track.

    There is last hope,people are looking toward with hopeful eyes that is the apex court under the supervision of the chief justice.Recommend

  • N.S
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:10AM

    Pakistan should stop this kind of human right violation then said to India about human right violation in Kashmir because more human right violation in Pakistan then in India.Recommend

  • aleena
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Just to say shame shame and shame on Pakistan….fail state with no humanity…shame on.Recommend

  • Sama
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:28AM

    Missing persons are either killed or underground prison by the Agencies and related Deptt. These agencies act on divide and rule, use and kill policy. Pak is the single stat in the world where humanity, justice, maturity, civilization, true education, tolerance, courage, positive attitude/thinking, mutual and national respect does not exist. Only corruption, use and killing of innocent people, negative thinking/ propaganda, negative attitude, humiliation, rule of power and dodging of stupid survive. It is neither Islamic not scholar country but presentation of Arab area before Islam even worse than that. I hate it too much. Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 10:29AM

    Police or any other institution has no legal authority to use third method against any citizen
    it has no right take a life of any person,innocent or guilty.

    In fact,
    it is duty of the prosecution to apprehend the culprit,produce him in the competent court of law,then during trial
    prove his crime on which he was arrested.

    But they are become police,investigator with unleashed powers,prosecution,state counsel
    court and presiding officer.

    person ,under custody violently beat some time on the mere suspicion short him to death.

    that is procedure going on now days ,it needs to control and change it forth with,I appeal to chief justice to saving the legal and justice system by strongly interfere.Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Bullet value is more than Human being.
    Whats going on.Recommend

  • Bhutto
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:59AM

    @ Nadeem, brother they were five soldiers they could punish him and take him into the mobile, why you are protecting them, was it not a injustice to that guy even if he was a robber. first responsibility of soldiers was that they should arrest him and punish him according to law no Law says that you should kill like this until he is proven guilty. Recommend

  • Sawan Shah
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:00AM

    I wish i could DISOWN ALL ARMY MEN, shotting PAKISTANIS on their own soil, the soil of MUHAMMAD ALI JINNAH.

    I wish i forget the sound bit heard from many ARMY men “THESE CIVILIANS” with loads n loads of HATE

    I wish i could forgive my self, because i contributed for the purchase of WEAPON and BULLETS he used, like many other TAX PAYERS of PAKISTANRecommend

  • Bhutto
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:01AM

    @ Sama agreed with you you are absolutly 100% right.Recommend

  • dheeeeema
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:07AM

    I feel that this guy may have been a crook and even had killed for money, but this was no way to punish him. Even if he was shot at, he could have been rushed to the hospital and not left to bleed to death. An if one or two shot him, why were the others unmoved by this situation. And tell me WHY WAS THE CAMERA MAN, UNMOVED??? HE SHOWED NO REACTION. All along I thought maybe this footage was shot by one of the ranger guys, but it turned out that the camera was held by a person hired by a local TV channel. Was he only coached to focus his camera on dying people?… Did he not have an iota of “insaniyat” in him or was it eclipsed by the cameraman’s greed to become rich or famous, or both. Please tell me that I am not the only one who thinks that the cameraman may have made an attempt to save the guys life!!!!Recommend

  • Sheikh Sarmad
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:22AM

    CJ’s selective justice…! for the media galleries!Recommend

  • Kasim
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:28AM

    @N.S: My Dear Indian Brother. This is not Human Right Violation. I heard about “Encounter” shootings in India where Police will gun down the Criminal even though it is possible to arrest him. The reason is that Criminal will have Political and Social backgrounds, and will be difficult for Police to prove him guilty in Court of Law.

    In fact, I am supporting these type of activities by any Law enforcement authority as it will eliminate Criminals to come in public and do some atrocities.

    You should consider this as a “Encounter” to eliminate Criminal from the Soceity. I feel Society should not discourage any Law enforcement agency including Rangers. Then only Society can live in peace.

    Dear Rangers.. Please come out, do more like this and eliminte Criminals from Society.Recommend

  • Ali Rehman
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:29AM

    You people are boiling my blood, stop talking against the Rangers. The boy was a robber, gangster. We people are senti, I think we shouldn’t be supporting the gangster who was trying to rob family in the park.

    Kindly support the rangers, many of innocent peoples have lost their lives in robbery cases, I repeat stop supporting the gangster.

    I mean it no body deserve to die like this whatever is on TV is not the real thing, someone mentioned about the Sialkot bacha party all the Pakistanis were supporting and favouring the kids but no body ever bother to know about their past.

    “Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil” Recommend

  • Uncle J
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:00PM

    He is a criminal, we cannot forget that. But no law enforcement authority had the right to kill a suspect.

    These words were said by Rehman Malik. In one sentence he has called the murdered man a criminal, and a suspect at the same time.

    This is all a farce. The Rangers personnel will not be punished. The worst that will happen to them is that they will be court martialled and discharged from service. End of story.

    A kid was murdered. A kid with a mother. When the first bullet pierced through his arm, he cried out “Ammi jee mera haath gaya!”

    Shame on these rabid dogs who have no humanity. They are the scum of the earth. Shame on all of them. All of them.

    Tum kitnay masoom log maro gay, har ghar say jawan niklay ga. Tum kitna khoon bahao gay, har Pakistani tum say badla lay ga.Recommend

  • Sawan Shah
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:08PM

    @Ali Rehman:

    OK, If he a gangster, or a criminal, can u SHOT him on the road? if you point is you have the authority to decide and execute, then my brother , next time when ever u will cross a RED sign some will shot u ….

    We will obviously protest against that as well….. Recommend

  • Umair
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:39PM

    @Ali Rehman: I agree, we should get in depth before concluding and selecting sides but this is no way of treating criminals. They have rights as well and must be punished by law, not by rangers in open. Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 1:49PM

    @Ali Rehman:
    Ha. Alright, so what you’re saying is that it’s ok to condemn and shoot someone who has not been proven guilty with the only known evidence is one person’s word and a toy? But, people in uniform automatically are incapable of murder even when the evidence is overwhelming and therefor be pardoned with a smile and given medals?

    Give me a few minutes. I’ll go make a phone call to the authorities and tell them preemptively that you came to my house after I posted this and tried to kill me. I hope it’s a clean kill. Being shot twice and left to bleed to death is just mean.

    Your wide generalizations amount to noise.Recommend

  • Tahir Sultan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:59PM

    Well done pak rangers,long live pak rangers.Recommend

  • Atif
    Jun 10, 2011 - 6:27PM

    that was quick CJ. by the way where were you when a judge wrongfully, by passing all the norms and rules, released the Raymond Davis, put a nail into the dignity of this nation and then flee (vacation leaves…yeah) outside the country for indefinite period? I didn’t hear anything on that from you till now. Well done. Amazing algorithm you have for taking duo motu actions.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Jun 11, 2011 - 1:30AM

    @Babar Khan Javed: Guy, I will not dare to take up this challenge, as you are a sure winner.Recommend

  • Saboor Syed
    Jun 11, 2011 - 7:57PM

    Rehman Malik has NO right to pronounce that the individual killed was a criminal. What evidence does Malike has to this effect. Everyone is innocent until oroven guilty, this individual didn’t have his day in court. Rehman Malik should shut up. Parliament as people’s representatives should call DG Rangers, strip him of his lapels and dissolve entire Rangers in one go. They are nothing but murders.Recommend

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