Police find leads in Syed Ali Raza Abidi assassination probe

Published: December 26, 2018
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Police sources say perpetrator’s faces are clearly visible in CCTV footage. SCREENGRAB

Police sources say perpetrator’s faces are clearly visible in CCTV footage. SCREENGRAB

KARACHI: Police investigators claim to have made some headway into the investigations of the assassination of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi, who was shot dead outside his home in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority on Tuesday night.

Abidi was laid to rest in DHA graveyard after his funeral prayers were offered at Imambargah Yasrab on Wednesday.

Allama Hassan Zafar Naqvi led the funeral prayers of the slain politician. MQM-P leaders including Dr Farooq Sattar among other politicians also attended the funeral.

According to the Counter Terrorism Department of the Sindh Police, forensic analysis of the spent bullet casings found from the crime scene have matched the ammunition used in another murder in Liaquatabad on December 10.

On Wednesday evening, police registered a case, number 540/18 under Sections 302/34 as well as Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, against unidentified persons. The case was registered on the complaint of the victim’s father, Ikhlaq Abidi.

The match

CTD In-charge Raja Umer Khattab, briefing on the investigations so far, claimed that the match would prove to be a great help in solving the case and apprehending the perpetrators. The weapon used in Abidi’s assassination was a .30 bore pistol, said Khattab, adding that five spent casings were recovered from the crime scene. The casings were sent to the police forensic laboratory, he said.

Former MNA Ali Raza Abidi assassinated in Karachi

According to the initial results from the laboratory, Khattab said that the same weapon was used in the murder of 23-year-old Ihtisham earlier this month. He added that the results pointed to the possibility that the same group was involved in both incidents.

Ihtisham’s murder

Rao Shabbir, who is the incumbent SHO of Liaquatabad Police Station, told The Express Tribune that Ihtisham was the alleged paramour of an ex-wife of Irfan, who lived in the same neighbourhood. On the night of December 10, Ihtisham had reportedly brought Ifran’s ex-wife to his home, after which he was murdered.

Meanwhile, Irfan, who is a bookie and is allegedly affiliated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London, has multiple wives who live in different properties owned by him in Lyari, Khadda Market, DHA and other areas.

After Ihtisham’s murder, Irfan went into hiding and there was a possibility that he had fled the country, said SHO Shabbir.

In a video message, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, Irfan can be seen accusing Ihtisham of stealing his wife. He adds that Ihtisham had ruined his family.

According to SHO Shabbir, Ihtisham’s family had filed a case with the police against unidentified persons. He recalled, however, that the family had seemed hesitant to divulge some details, presumably due to some form of pressure.

SSP’s brief

Meanwhile, South SSP Pir Muhammad Shah, while briefing the media outside Abidi’s house on Wednesday, said that that the deceased had arrived home earlier than was his routine on the night of December 25. His family was traveling abroad the next day, so he had come home early to take them out for dinner.

‘Terrible tragedy’: Twitter reacts to assassination of Ali Raza Abidi

The perpetrators had been following him to his house and just as Abidi’s car stopped in front of his gate, one of the suspects opened fire at him.

The SSP said that CCTV footage along the route taken by Abidi to his house has been acquired, which will help them in the investigations.

Shah added that they have also detained Abidi’s guard, Qadeer, who, “instead of immediately retaliating to the fire, went inside the house”. The suspects had fired the shots after the guard had opened the gate, he added.

Major clues

According to police sources privy to the investigation, the perpetrators’ faces are visible in the CCTV footage captured from Abidi’s home. The footage will be cross-checked with police records to ascertain whether the suspects had criminal records.

A senior police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that at least four suspects on two motorcycles were involved in the targeted attack. Two of the suspects carried out the attack, while two others were on backup and recce duty.

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