KARACHI: A man was killed and two others injured, including a suspect who claimed to be a police official, during an alleged encounter between Sindh Rangers and robbers at Tariq Road, near Allah Wali Chowrangi, on Monday night. Here is what is interesting though - the 'police official' who has now been arrested was actually one of the robbers. Accused Ehsan Ilahi, who was reportedly dismissed from his post two years ago, claimed the pistol he carried was licensed and had a police card which was later discovered to be fake. The motorcycle recovered from him had the police department's monogram on it.
According to a Rangers' spokesperson, a Rangers mobile was on duty at Allah Wali Chowrangi at 10.50pm Monday when the Rangers personnel on duty noticed two robbers on a motorcycle attempting to escape. They signaled for the robbers to stop but the men on the motorcycle opened fire at the Rangers instead. The Rangers retaliated and as per the spokesperson, a Rangers official Lance Naik Muhammad Tariq, was also injured in the incident. The spokesperson said that Ehsan Ilahi was injured while his accomplice managed to escape.
The head of the emergency department at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr Seemi Jamali said that three people were brought to JPMC in relation with the firing incident at Tariq Road. They were Ehsan Ilahi, Rab Nawaz and Tauqeer. According to Dr Jamali, Rab Nawaz, 35, had already passed away when he was brought to the hospital while Ehsan and Tauqeer were brought in an injured condition. Tauqeer's injuries were minor but Ehsan had suffered bullet injuries in different parts of his body and was in critical condition, she said.
On receiving information of the incident, East SSP Ghulam Azfar Mahesar and Ferozabad SHO Sarwar reached JPMC and began investigating the incident. As the night unfolded, the story of the 'police official' unravelled.
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The dismissed police official
Ehsan Ilahi, from whom a motorcycle with the police department's monogram was recovered, and who had a police card on his person, told SSP Mahesar and SHO Sarwar that he had been the victim of a robbery attempt.
"Robbers were trying to rob me and I fired at them with my licensed pistol," he claimed. "During this time, the Rangers appeared and firing ensued and I was also injured," he said. He went on to state that he was a police officer posted in Korangi and the weapons found on his person were licensed. He claimed innocence on this basis and added that his father was martyred in 2016.
Meanwhile, Rab Nawaz's family reached the hospital. They told the police that the deceased ran an auto workshop named Zaigham at Old Sabzi Mandi and he was not a robber.
Mahesar, Sarwar and the Rangers began investigating these claims. Korangi SHO Inayatullah Marwat was approached and finally some light was shed on the incident.
The story unravels
SHO Marwat said that Ehsan was indeed posted at the Korangi Industrial Area police station but was dismissed from his post two years ago. Not soon after, it was discovered that the police card Ehsan carried was also fake.
Further investigation revealed that the red Honda 125 motorcycle with the police department monogram, which was recovered from Ehsan was actually stolen from the vicinity of Bahadrabad police station in July 2018. The motorcycle had an 'applied for' number plate.
A .30 bore loaded pistol and four snatched mobile phones were also recovered from the place of the incident. Citizens who were present at the scene concurred that mobile phones had been snatched at the time. It was also established that Rab Nawaz and Tauqeer were passersby who happened to be in the vicinity of the firing.
Rab Nawaz, 35, who lost his life during this encounter, was brought to the JPMC by his friend, Muhammad Arif. According to Arif, he was in the car with Nawaz when the firing began. Arif said that Nawaz was hit by a bullet in the head while he was in the car and Arif rushed him to the hospital. He stated that robbers were attempting to rob the car ahead of theirs when the Rangers arrived and the crossfire began.
According to the Rangers' spokesperson, the bullet that killed Nawaz was fired by the robbers. SSP Mahesar seconded this claim. JPMC MLO Ejaz Ahmed said that the deceased was hit by a bullet fired from a small firearm and the bullet has been sent for forensic testing.
Tauqeer, whose injuries were minor, was released after receiving medical attention.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.
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