Sarfraz Shah killing case: First witnesses point at Rangers

Published: July 4, 2011
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Arrested Pakistani paramilitary Rangers and a civilian, their faces covered in blankets, sit in a armored vehicle as they leave for jail from an anti-terrorism court after a hearing in Karachi. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Arrested Pakistani paramilitary Rangers and a civilian, their faces covered in blankets, sit in a armored vehicle as they leave for jail from an anti-terrorism court after a hearing in Karachi. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

KARACHI: 

Two out of six Rangers men accused of killing Sarfraz Shah were identified by a police officer and the victim’s brother in court on Monday as the first prosecution witnesses took the stand in the high-profile case.

Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso of the Anti-Terrorism Court examined on Monday two prosecution witnessess, including complainant Syed Salik Shah, the brother of the deceased Sarfraz Shah and Inspector Riaz Hussain of Boat Basin. Both witnesses identified accused Rangers men Shahid Zafar, who was reported to have shot Shah with his G-3 rifle, and Muhammad Afzal.

Salik was first at the stand. He told the court that he was on duty at a private television channel where he works as crime reporter on June 8, at about 5:30pm when his mother called. She said that some women from the neighbourhood had told her that Sarfraz had a fight with some people at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park and that the police and Rangers were there.

Examined by Special Public Prosecutor Muhammad Khan Buriro, the complainant said that he then went straight to the Boat Basin police station and then to Clifton PS. He was told by the officer on duty at Clifton that a young man was injured in firing by the Rangers and was taken to Jinnah hospital. He went to the emergency and met the Medico Legal Officer who showed him the body.

Two personnel of the Pakistan Rangers were there and Shah said they had name tags: Shahid Zafar and Muhammad Afzal. “I asked them why they killed my brother,” Salik said. “[I] was told to go to the police station or [the Rangers] headquarters.” They said, “do not talk to us”.

Salik then narrated the details of the public protest at Chief Minister House and the burial. During cross examination, Salik was asked why he did not describe the accused in the FIR and give the names of the women who broke the news. Salik told the bench that the police never called the women or his mother for a statement. At one point, Salik lost his temper when a defence lawyer asked him about his brother being caught committing a dacoity.

Boat Basin SI Riaz Hussain deposed next and told the bench how the two Rangers men who were nominated by Salik had been surrendered by their superiors so they could be formally arrested. He witnessed the hand over.

The court put off the proceedings till Tuesday when five prosecution witnesses are likely to be examined.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (17)

  • Khalid Javed
    Jul 4, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Incident of a teenager being killed by a warning shot by a ranger was lamentable, however none should forget the followings:-

    • We are in a war-like situation whereby security forces are special target of being hit. The premonition of being killed anytime by any terrorist hangs like a sword on all security personnel.
    • The guy -supposed victim- was in possession of some sort of pistol or at least a pistol like stuff which shows his criminal inclination.
    • The guy was leaping forward towards the rangers in fast meaningful strides towards the security official- in fear we retreat and not proceed. Was he begging for mercy or pretending to beg & having something else in mind emboldened by stories of security personnel killed by unknown terrorist. Was the thought of Unknown Terrorist killing a few security officials giving him a dutch courage?
    • Are we not over-swept in the sympathy wave triggered by Edited version of Video & ignoring what threat he could have been, if he would have succeeded in grabbing gun from the officials & unleashed bullets on the ones on duty?

    Deplorable to see a teen-ager dying in this way, but we have to condone the lapse of security officials considering it an error of judgment if we want them to continue taking crucial decisions to launch pre-emptive strikes against the terrorists who are at large in the entire country. Recommend

  • Khalid Javed
    Jul 4, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Incident of a teenager being killed by a warning shot by a ranger was lamentable, however none should forget the followings:-

    • We are in a war-like situation whereby security forces are special target of being hit. The premonition of being killed anytime by any terrorist hangs like a sword on all security personnel.
    • The guy -supposed victim- was in possession of some sort of pistol or at least a pistol like stuff which shows his criminal inclination.
    • The guy was leaping forward towards the rangers in fast meaningful strides towards the security official- in fear we retreat and not proceed!!!!!… Was he begging for mercy or pretending to beg & having something else in mind emboldened by stories of security personnel killed by unknown terrorist. Was the thought of Unknown Terrorist killing a few security officials giving him a dutch courage?
    • Are we not over-swept in the sympathy wave triggered by Edited version of Video & ignoring what threat he could have been, if he would have succeeded in grabbing gun from the officials & unleashed bullets on the ones on duty?

    Deplorable to see a teen-ager dying in this way, but we have to condone the lapse of security officials considering it an error of judgment if we want them to continue taking crucial decisions to launch pre-emptive strikes against the terrorists who are at large in the entire country. Recommend

  • Fahd
    Jul 4, 2011 - 6:08PM

    @Khalid Javed:

    They were 5-6 in number and he was alone (and unarmed) after his toy pistol was confiscated. He was trying to beg for mercy when the rangers were shouting ‘Kill Him’ and the way they were saying it it was quite evident that they meant it.

    It goes on to show the incapibility of our rangers who could have overpowered that fragile looking man with a few kicks and perhaps a good beating from those guns rather than actually firing it?

    The only reason why they are in custody is because the incident was caught on tape. Otherwise it would have been an encounter where the terrorist was trying to kill the rangers. No one would’ve known the truth.

    I agree with the overall negativity that exists in our society, but this was barbaric. They stood there, watching him bleed to death. He could’ve been saved if he was given some medical treatment.Recommend

  • Rashid
    Jul 4, 2011 - 6:43PM

    @Khalid Javed:
    There was no weapon with the teenager. Those rangers did not shoot him in self defense which is clearly visible from the video. What stopped the rangers from taking him to emergency care after he was shot and was bleeding? Those rangers should be hanged in public, I wish they could be shot and let to bled the same way they did with Sarfraz. This incident reminds of similar cases in Palestine that we used to think how can a human even show this brutality.Recommend

  • Mana Tain Pattas
    Jul 4, 2011 - 7:36PM

    Javed sab, while giving illogical arguments for highly condemnable incident or Shah you forgot that they not only shoot him but also left unattended while he was begging for this life – ‘Hospital Puhncha day Yar’. I feel ashamed sometimes to be a pakistani, where people like you defend such horrific acts.

    Can you just answer me why did not they took her to the hospital after shooting her twice?

    I can assume that you are part of that Army/Rangers/Agencies Mafia that does not feel embarrassed to receive plots and houses for doing no service to Pakistan while most of pakistanies are dying with hunger diseasee. Allah protect this country from people like you.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jul 4, 2011 - 7:52PM

    @ Kahlid Javed. You are 100% right.. There are many incidents when someone while performing begging acting, snatches a gun and kills others. Begging doesn’t mean he was innocent. If we mute this video, we can see the actual happenings. He was trying to snatch a gun and rangers were backing off and were very scared. I think the voices have been added after the incident to win the hearts and minds of general public. These voices are very clear whereas video maker is far from the scene.
    @ Fahd, sorry I cannot agree with you, lonely terrorist have killed dozens of law enforcement people. Rangers are humans too, they panicked and could not resist the temptation to act. Whatever followed was due to poor training and resources, for which their superiors should be held responsible, not poor soldiers.
    The guy who was filming must not be alone at the scene. He must be hiding himself in group of people. Why he and other people did not help a dying person? Why they kept on watching and filming the incident? The only reasonable answer would be that they were very scared of rangers, the same is true for rangers. We all, including Rangers are in enemy’s territory.Recommend

  • Zamendaar
    Jul 4, 2011 - 8:25PM

    Who are they to practice justice at their own ? They should be punished according to the law Recommend

  • SHAWN
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:08PM

    @Khalid Javed:
    Only Allah can judge, where was the pistol and would you charge 6 rangers who have fully loaded guns. Do you have a conscious or you just like to treat people life mosquitos…how would you react if the victim was your brother or son…shame on you.Recommend

  • Farhan Khan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:54AM

    @Khalid Javed, your comments are typical of a backward third world mentality ,trying to justify the inexcusable. No wonder your country is in such a mess and judged by many to be the most dangerous place on earth. God help Pakistan!Recommend

  • naveed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 7:17AM

    the first lesson rangers get while training is to :obey the command”Recommend

  • Patriotic
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:04AM

    @ Mana Tain Pattas.
    I agree 100% with you and happy that there are people like you who can defend and retaliate such nonsensical and illogical responses from the partners (in whatsoever) of so-called law-makers (Rangers/Police/Agencies/etc.)Recommend

  • Adam Hai
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:33PM

    @Khalid Javed:

    What the shooter, the Ranger did was horrific. Mr. Shah should have been taken into custody and brought to justice with evidence instead. The ranger and associates should be prosecuted and jailed.Recommend

  • Pir Ali Raza
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:41PM

    Ofcourse he should not have been killed. we do live in a civilized world where their are methods to handle such situations but it doesnt change the fact that he was a thief.Recommend

  • ScoobyDoo
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:57PM

    A few more incidents like this … a few more examples of justice like salman taseer… a few more explanations like Khalid Javed and Nadeem Ahmad and then the people will beg foreign powers to come to save us from this hell… it happens always….in pakistan it is second time after 71.Recommend

  • azmal
    Jul 5, 2011 - 8:06PM

    they haves no evidence to hand over

    @adam

    What the shooter, the Ranger did was horrific. Mr. Shah should have been taken into custody and brought to justice with evidence instead. The ranger and associates should be prosecuted and jailed.Recommend

  • hameer
    Jul 5, 2011 - 8:11PM

    criminals shud be hung and jailedRecommend

  • majid
    Jul 6, 2011 - 2:35PM

    Yes that is true, only ALLAH Knows best, no one should pass a judgment without complete knowledgeRecommend

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