Karachi shooting: SC sends Rangers, Sindh police chiefs packing

Published: June 11, 2011
Court notes discrepancies in investigations, orders Accountant General to withhold salaries if transfers not made.

Court notes discrepancies in investigations, orders Accountant General to withhold salaries if transfers not made.


A day after taking suo motu notice of the killing of 19-year-old Sarfaraz Shah by Rangers in Karachi, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the transfer of the Director-General of Rangers in Sindh and the Inspector General of Police for the province, noting that they both were negligent in handling the case. In an unusually candid exchange, the Supreme Court justices observed that the entire terms of reference under which the Rangers were deployed in Sindh have to be reviewed and that the officials concerned should have resigned of their  own accord after the incident.

A five-member bench presided by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while disposing of the case, ordered that a notification for their removal be sent within three days, failing which the perks of both the officials would be ceased.

What is ironic is that the Sindh government continues to contest the case and tries to prove that Sarfaraz Shah was indeed a criminal and the action taken was justified. The Sindh government is also not willing to remove the officials.

In response to the court order, Sindh Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ayaz Soomro said the provincial government will file a petition to review the decision. Advocate General Abdul Fateh Malik will file a review petition in the apex court, Soomro said without elaborating. The minister added a case has already been registered against the accused.

The Supreme Court has appointed DIG West (Karachi) Khawaja Sultan as the investigation officer in the murder case and ordered that investigations be completed within seven days by submitting a charge sheet to the relevant court. The SC further ordered a trial court hold daily hearings on the case and give its verdict within 30 days.

At the beginning of the hearing, the chief justice observed that the killing of Shah by the Rangers was a clear case of extrajudicial killing. “The law is equal for everyone. Who has  given the Rangers a licence to kill? The deceased was our son,” the CJP observed.

In his defence, DG Ranger Ijaz Chadhry said that soon after the incident, the responsible jawans were suspended and taken into custody. But AGP Maulvi Anwarul Haq added that a weapon was recovered from the possession of the deceased. Sindh IGP Fayyaz Leghari said that three FIRs were registered at different times in the Boat Basin Police Station and two officers were arrested.

The first FIR was registered within two hours of the incident by complainant Afsar Khan alleging that the deceased had attempted to rob his friend and his wife.  Leghari said Afsar captured the man and handed him over to the Rangers. On the same day, a second FIR was registered by the Rangers claiming that the man was carrying an illegal weapon with an intent to murder an officer. The third report was registered by the deceased’s brother Salik Shah in which he said that his brother had a quarrel in Benazir Bhutto Park where he succumbed to his injuries. He later discovered that his brother was gunned down by two Rangers personnel along with two unidentified jawans. The court observed that the FIRs were contrary to the video footage shown in the court room.

The FIRs are exaggerated and not in consonance with the footage, Justice Javed Iqbal said on which the CJP added that “there must be a transparent investigation.” After obtaining their physical remand of the personnel involved, the investigation process will start, the court was told.

“It’s a brutal murder, we will take strict action. It is the second incident this month in which innocent people have been killed,”Justice Chaudhry said in reference to the Kharotabad firing in which five foreigners, including three women, were mercilessly mowed down.

Addressing the DG Rangers, CJP said: “You should have resigned immediately after the brutal killing.” In reply, the DG Rangers admitted that it was a clear case of murder. “I am not justifying the killer’s brutal act. The jawans have been arrested, but it is a fact that my soldiers performed very well in the PNS Mehran operation,” he commented. The remark was seen as a somewhat strange justification. In reply the chief justice said: “We appreciate it, but cannot allow Rangers to kill innocent people.” Justice Iqbal added the Rangers were posted to control target killings, “but were targeting civilians instead.”

The court inquired about the person in the footage who handed over Sarfaraz to the Rangers to which the Sindh IGP submitted said the man was Afsar Khan, a local resident. The court asked why Khan’s name was not mentioned in the FIR and why the killer’s abettors were not arrested. On this, the IGP helpfully told the bench that Khan is in police custody. “When his name is not mentioned in the FIR, how has he been taken into custody?” Justice Javed Iqbal retorted.

The chief justice summarised by saying that all the FIRs have incorrect information, adding that a transparent inquiry of the event is not possible in the presence of the sitting DG Rangers and the current IGP of Sindh.

In an attempt to calm the court, Sindh Chief Secretary Subhan Memon said he “accepted responsibility” for the incident, but the CJP said that Memon, DG Rangers and the IGP should resign instead.

Justice Javed Iqbal asked the secretary interior and the AGP to revise the policy of deputing Rangers to aid police and civil administration in Karachi, adding that the notification and the charter of duty should be reviewed.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Much amused
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:21PM

    The SC orders are not going to be implemented but rather a fudged attempt will be made where the two officials will be put on cold storage for a couple of months and then return in style.Recommend

  • Nation
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Perfect! They should have taken responsibility by themselves and left.
    Akhrot.Abad should also be taken up with some decision. Recommend

  • Mustafa Kamal
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:27PM

    Osama, PNS Mehran, Quettea shooting, Saleem Shahzad Murder, Karachi Rangers Killing and many more to expect when your leaders of every institution are……………Gr8 statement by CJ “the appointment of incompetent officials had led to incompetent administration”.Recommend

  • Hamid
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:29PM

    I totally agree with the Supreme Court’s current suo motu action and the orders for removal of DG Rangers, IG Police.Recommend

  • Farooq Khalid
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:30PM

    There is some hope in the form of Judiciary other wise it’s all messed up.Recommend

  • Sawan Shah
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:32PM

    nice startRecommend

  • MS
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:34PM

    Justice Delayed is justice denied!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:39PM

    Rehman Malik should resign!Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Well done, Mr CJP! You are always a fresh air in despair! Well done!! Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Gud decision indeed ….Thanks for showing the courage Chief Justice and making the TOP most person accountable for the actions his/her sub ordinates takes .
    Days of Accountability begins as Rule of Law has to be Supreme .Recommend

  • Shamsi Ajanee
    Jun 10, 2011 - 12:53PM

    Same should be done for Quetta killingRecommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 12:55PM

    SC must give an exemplary punishment to those who convicted…Recommend

  • Farooq Khalid
    Jun 10, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Taking responsibility is not the norm in Pakistan. They have to be thrown out like this.Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 1:07PM

    What does “REMOVAL” mean? NOTHING!!! these people need to be HEALD RESPONSIBE and PUNISHED not sent on a LONG VACATION!!
    what a JOKERecommend

  • Lobster
    Jun 10, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Great decision; once again only Supreme Court seems to be custodian of peoples of Pakistan, trying to save them from there own government and armyRecommend

  • Nazar
    Jun 10, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Taking responsibilities are the actions of civilized people and societies, and unfortunately in our country no one is ready to take responsibility. So “lathoon ke bot batoon sey neheen manege”. I think at this time of crises in Pakistan only supreme court is a ray of hope for the oppressed people of Pakistan. All other institution including the armed forces and agencies have lost their credibilities. The Order of removal of DG an IG are really a timely step.Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 1:35PM

    WTH ? Why SC is intervening administrative matters when inquiry is already underway. What purpose DG and IG removal would serve ? CJ should immediately take announce punishment of Salman Taseer’s assassin rather than doing publicity stunts.Recommend

  • lkhan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 1:49PM

    It is great to see human life is given the relevance due. The judiciary ought to take more action in support for such causes, the basis of civilised peoples.Recommend

  • Asadullah
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:06PM

    this should be the starting point of a bloody revolutionRecommend

  • 2BA.d
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:08PM

    Even if the target killers or robbers get caught they get released from jails and most don’t even face a trial. Why? As we know they are backed by political influences. Majorly the one which likes to kill even their in-house party people.
    I wish that any such footage of the daket’s also be found soon who enter rampaging people’s personal property, their homes, which they consider their sanctuary and not only loot their money but also kill real innocent people. Rape the women!
    Had a friend family whose pregnant lady was not even spared!
    There was another incident where the butcher robbers had slain the throats of 7 men. Another where they cut the arteries of the tied men before leaving their house.
    Their job should be taking away money only !
    I know k just b’cuz we r soft heart nice ppl that is y, just by seeing a manslaughter we r being swayed.
    But I really wish k kabhe in robbers ki barbaric vdo’s bhe manzar e aam par aen.
    So that we can also feel the pain of the real innocent ones who got to endure n go thru excruciating pain by just sitting in their houses.
    Houses r supposed to be safe, right?!
    Plus+ If the rangers, lured n driven by their power’s ecstasy were up to something wrong, then how come they let a media person shoot a vdo from so close?!
    We all know that first thing they do is to take away your camera’s, even in cell phones n damage it or waste the footage.
    There r always two sides of the coin. And the story. Read the facts n you will find nice aspects of Hitler n bad sides to Jinnah too.
    We should wait n be patient to hear the ranger’s lot as well. B4 jumping onto conclusions n getting so judgmental.
    I’m trying not to take any one’s side as yet but…
    Victim Says: Nakhli Gun hai yar.. Mai Majbur Hun
    Media says : Nihatta Mazlum Naujawan
    The Way it Happened was Wrong.. The Way it is being Molded is Worst!Recommend

  • Bilal
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:45PM

    I wonder what are the standing orders / protocol for the Rangers when a criminal is handed to their custody? Recommend

  • Saleem Ali
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:49PM

    I can smell another controversy Recommend

  • mushtaq
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:51PM

    Well Done Mr. Chief Justice.

    I appreciate your decision of removing IG Sindh & DG Rangers from their posts within three days. I hope the culprits will be given examplary punshments and rule of law will prevail in this country. The terrorism of uniformed personels will also be halted. I Think these police personel and Rangers are real target killers. The investigation will be done keeping this in view. Mostly criminals are in Police & Law enforcement agencies. They harrass innocent people instead of preventing crimes in the society. They are involved in crimes by themselves are backing the criminals in anyway. They are the real criminals and should be punished for their crimes. If necessary, police department should be abolished and some other department should be set up in its place. I hope supreme court will work for the rule of law in the country. Recommend

  • Zoya
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:52PM

    What has the IG sindh got to do with this? It was the fault of the rangers…! giving out the wrong decision will not solve the issue. Why hasnt IG Islamabad been removed after the killing of saleem shehzad why hasnt IG Balouchistan been removed for the Quetta killings WHERE THE FC AND POLICE WERE DIRECTLY involved. In the karachi incident Police had NOTHING to do with it!!! ridiculous! Recommend

  • Interesting Analysis
    Jun 10, 2011 - 2:56PM

    The Rangers personnel will be punished subjected to inquiry even when his crime is clearly evident in a real footage, whereas, Sarfraz was shot dead by Security without having any inquiry/evidence even he was under control and not retaliating.What a pity! Recommend

  • Chilli
    Jun 10, 2011 - 3:08PM

    Nexus of PPP and Armed forces guarantee one more partition. People realizing real facts of 1971 when Bengalis claimed similar incidents.Recommend

    Jun 10, 2011 - 3:19PM

    in my opinion it happened due to extreme atmosphere of terror and fear of suicide bomber terrorists prevailing in the country. media is always putting spice over such issues and what is the real story behind such incidents, no body knows. Persons killed in such incidents/ways can not be with clean hands…..Recommend

  • JIK
    Jun 10, 2011 - 3:59PM

    Great decesion by CJP.. but question is that if all things are being done (so far) by CJP then what is need of Prime minister and President in Pakistan… Recommend

  • Sengathir
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:12PM

    Just like extra-judicial murder, this one looks like a extra-judicial verdict..Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:20PM


    Agree with Tanzeel! Lack of guts prevent anyone, including ‘The Supremes’ of this land to do anything about the murderer of Governor Taseer. How about getting all those mullahs who instigated and support murderers in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:37PM

    In Urdu this is called “Gott phasana.”

    Sweet move, CJP. They might not get removed. Then you will throw tantrums. Back and forth till this goes to cold storage.Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 4:37PM

    As much as id want the two to be taken to task, this is ridiculous. SC should not interfere at the moment.

    Looks like a reply to the criticism CJ is facing over the Odho case. Ridiculous.Recommend

  • Mir
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:50PM

    They should be sacked nothing less and the soldier/s who shot the poor soul should be publicly hanged so that no one else can dare to repeat such heinous crimes. Unless the Judiciary can set such examples such incidents will keep happening.Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 4:51PM

    It is very tragic. But we have to be realistic.

    First of let the system work. We want culprits to be punished.

    Let Sindh Ranger do the inquiry followed by a Court Martial.

    If that is not done road to Hight Court and SC is open.

    There is no need to degrade whole Rangers due to handful of trigger happy individuals.

    CJ of SC has nothing to do with the posting or transfer of DG Rangers. This man only wants cheap popularity.Recommend

  • Amer
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Is there a difference between the IDF (Israeli Army) and the Rangers in Karachi? Both shoot unarmed teenagers at point blank!! Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:38PM


    By who? the criminals ?Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:48PM

    What has the IG Sindh got to do with this killing? He was killed by Rangers. CJ is getting cheap publicity.Recommend

  • bulbul
    Jun 10, 2011 - 5:51PM

    Needless, 5 rangers soldiers acting on their own “thinking” decided to shoot that innocent kid. DG Rangers did not know about the incident that time NOR did anyone inform him that 5 soldiers have held a teenager and have shot him.

    Abbotabad was different, ISI was waiting for instructions from the top brass. Pasha should resign.

    DG Rangers doesnt control the individual actions of every soldier under him.

    Stupid decision by CJP…..

    Make decisions which will target the culprits (5 soldiers) not someone who has got nothing to do with it and was possibly as amazed and saddened by it as we are.Recommend

  • Hamid Ahmed
    Jun 10, 2011 - 7:42PM

    Justice must be blind not emotional, in our beloved country politicians and officials are both morally bankrupt. It is sad to see judiciary is going on the same path. Judges are after cheap publicity. Judges job is to look at the facts not at emotions.
    A good judge must look at actual facts, give the accused the opportunity to defend himself/herself and then give a fair punishment. In this case the our “hero” chief justice did not gave any opportunity to IG or DG to defend themselves. By this act of SC, justice has not been served but denied.
    Supreme court should have shown patience and waited for inquiry before issuing any judgement.
    But this Pakistan, who cares about justice or principles? everyone is looking for cheap publicity.
    Why did CJ remained “suspiciously” quite when Salman Taseer was murdered?
    Where was CJ when hundreds of Ahmadies were mascaraed in Lahore and no one got punished or transferred?
    Where was the CJ when houses of Christians was destroyed in Gojra when no one got punished or transferred?
    I wonder if sacrifices given during the lawyers movement was worth anything? or poor people of Pakistan was once again exploited in the name of (this time) Free Judiciary.
    This is a sad day for Pakistan, a family has lost their son, I grieve with them and I expect that no one and no one take their grieve and exploit it for cheap publicity. Justice must be served in fair manner.Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 7:51PM

    if murderer of Salman Taseer tackled lawfully without favor by the Government of Pakistan, and hanged in open place, killing of this Young man Sarfraz by young Ranger in Karachi never happens and forthcoming incidents of killings by the security officials got full stop.

    Whole nation requesting to CJP, PM and President, please suspend High Officials from their posts with immediate effect and murderers be hanged in open or at public place. Where is justice in Pakistan what rae our leaders doing just passing comments or condolence this nation needs justice justice and justice only………Recommend

  • Romm
    Jun 10, 2011 - 8:16PM

    well done CJ. U will be Amir ul Momineen soon! But let me tell u, price wud be too High if, you achieve even little bit short of that. Then Gun’s Rule will Prevail over rule of Law!Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:07PM

    The posting of IG Police and DG Rangers by the Supreme Court is welcomed. We hope it will be followed in all the departments and institutions. How about a judge being disciplined for the corruption of lower courts? How about Accountant General being punished for high rate of corruption in AG office specially at the close of Financial year in june. Recommend

  • lmsharma.khurja@gmail.com
    Jun 10, 2011 - 9:36PM

    A very sad incident. A young valuable life is lost for no reason. Be it India or Pakistan police force is the same. A little patient on part of these senseless policemen would have save the life of this young man.Even if he was a robber or DAKU he should have been arrested. The police force must be given lessons on humanity and importance of humility, at least to those working in the towns. Recommend

  • SL
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Why transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why not just fire them from there jobs… Thats a minimum if no civil court case.. Recommend

  • Dodo
    Jun 10, 2011 - 10:49PM

    This indeed is deplorable. However, this is not isolated to Pakistan alone. This happens the world over but more frequently and remorselessly in Pakistan. Recommend

  • ashwin
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:00PM

    The video is awful,my thoughts are with the martyr Recommend

  • Light
    Jun 10, 2011 - 11:22PM

    to all the people “shocked” by SC orders to remove IGP and DG rangers…

    ever heard the sentence, “if the management is culprit, the system will be same”.

    After this the top management of forces do not give there personal open hand to shoot anyone and everywhere.

    This is the first time some top official removed due to a mishap by some people under there supervision.

    Next time they will try there best to restrict there people from doing any thing like this.

    Plus what are forces doing???
    Killing unarmed men & women, killing a teenager whom they have already control, killing innocent people with no power…

  • positive pakistani
    Jun 11, 2011 - 12:17AM

    SC is playing politics..
    Is there left a difference between over-sentimental and often-&-easily-provoked public opinion …and….the literate, far-sighted, mature and rational top court???? ..or not ?:S…Recommend

  • Hatim
    Jun 11, 2011 - 12:46AM

    The Supreme Court should also ask Obama to step down or threaten to stop his salary. He was the one who ordered the cold-blooded murder of Osama Bin Laden who was unarmed. How are the two incidents different from each other? Both fall under the authority of the Supreme Court. Either that or the SC is a sham.Recommend

  • Sehr Siddiqui
    Jun 11, 2011 - 8:21AM

    Those reacting against Supreme Court’s suo moto notice should fear the day when such a happens to their children as has happenedto Sarfraz shah. There is an endless list of barbarism by uniformed personnel. About rangers they are involved in drug trafficing in Karachi beside the illegal arms.
    God save the Supreme Court andits Judges.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 11, 2011 - 9:39AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Innocent killings are always as a consequence of the misuse of given excessive and complete authorities and powers to any one without any check and balance.When you shall give any one excessive and complete powers then such these types of mishaps shall be the routine even if the leaders do have excessive powers then they also can do any wrongful things without any fear of check and balance.He is only a ranger’s personnel.To stop such these types of innocent killings in the future the check and balance system shall have to be maintained and imposed impartially and equally on strong basis amongst all the security agencies and police departments.Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 11, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Hatim : You must be joking. This is the height of sovereignity claiming.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 11, 2011 - 10:00AM

    What about the fact that the guy was clearly caught by somebody and presented to rangers official. He must be doing something fishy. What rangers did was probably not right but dont make this guy a martyr before full investigation.Recommend

  • xaini
    Jun 11, 2011 - 10:08AM

    In Egypt and Tunisia when young innocent civilians are killed in cold blood murder, it starts a revolution that changes the whole political structure of the country, Sadly in our country its just another days work. I hope and pray that this inhumane status quo changes and we see justice in our country, someday. Recommend

  • Random
    Jun 11, 2011 - 11:18AM

    We really could go on here about the hundreds of police, FC, Rangers Army etc etc who have been let off free….. but a tleast we have a start here. Maybe a glimmer of hope – lets hope so.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jun 11, 2011 - 11:22AM

    Even if you assume that the man killed by Rangers was a serial murdering cannibal, due process requires that he should be arrested and presented before a judge accompanied by evidence that proves his guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This street justice means we do not need any Rangers, we do not need a government, all we need is neighborhood gangs who will provide street justice in an instant. Recommend

  • Waqas Dilawar
    Jun 11, 2011 - 11:33AM

    SC decision is perectly right according to the situation for a particular incident. but i am unable to understand the increasing frequency of these incidents from our law enforcement agencies which are creating chaos in a common man & damaging repute of law enfrmnt agencies. Even these incidents were not 100% clear like in akhrotabad, why those men were veiled (wearing burqas), if they were killed just for the sake of money, how come they did not have enough while they were going out of a country, bosnian family having russian passport trying to sneak through last ckeckpost and at the end if they were suspected terrorist…nothing found from them???
    Nobody is giving clear picture neither media nor security orgs. Everybod is manipulating ambiguties & trying to create a reign of chaos for a common man to leave us confuse unable to decide what/who is right & what/who is wrong.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 11, 2011 - 1:38PM

    Long Live SCP, Long Live Pakistan, we need this kind of decisions and acts from our superior court at this critical time.Recommend

  • the Truth
    Jun 11, 2011 - 9:50PM

    Suo Moto is abhorrent to the very concept of a Supreme Court. The purpose of a Supreme Court within the frame work of a government is to act as an appeals court of last resort. Meaning that it job is to review an rule on the constitutionality of lower court decisions. Hiring or firing of Government officials is completely out of its purview. In the end it does not matter whether the courts intentions are good or bad. When the Government branch that is charged with upholding the laws breaks them, the reasoning is less important than the precedent it sets for someone else. As a side note, lets remember that this CJ was an original PCO judge and supported Musharraf when it benefited him, but opposed him when it was against him. The Truth hurts.Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Jun 12, 2011 - 3:12AM

    I do not know why people want CHEAP POPULARITY ?

    People are already popular ! why they cross the line while telling others not to cross the line.

    Why they wont let the system work and then blame there there is no system ?Recommend

  • Naeem Tunio
    Jun 13, 2011 - 11:07PM

    Ofcourse why not, u come on seat. do u know the wht is reallly story… Recommend

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