KARACHI: Street crime and robberies have become a daily occurrence in the city. Even the houses and families of police officials are not spared by armed robbers who rule the streets of Karachi.
A gang of robbers broke into the house of DSP Tariq Malik in Shadman Town on Monday. They shot dead the DSP's nephew, Riaz Malik, 28, and took off with jewellery, local and foreign currency and other valuables. The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Shara-e-Noor Jahan Police Station.
The deceased, Riaz, son of Shahabuddin Malik, a resident of Orangi Town Sector 14b, was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Speaking to the media, DSP Malik said that Riaz was his nephew who had been staying with him since he was a child. Malik said that the incident occurred at 3.30pm. Six robbers broke into his house, woke him up and pointed their guns at him, said the DSP. "They assaulted and handcuffed me after which two of the robbers stayed with me while the others went to my brother's room," said the DSP, while narrating the incident. "They assaulted him [brother] and his wife before bringing them to my room. They then went to the room of my other brother, Kashif Malik and also held him and his family hostage," he said.
According to Malik, the perpetrators then took the keys of wardrobes and lockers and started collecting valuables, including money and jewellery, from the house. "During this time, my nephew who had noticed the robbers from the first floor, fired a bullet which caused the robbers to panic and run towards him," said Malik. "We heard over a dozen shots of [gun]fire and then the robbers fled," he added. When Malik and his family managed to break apart the handcuffs and reached the first floor, they saw Riaz's body covered in blood. The DSP said that a neighbour, Khalid, who heard the commotion, brought his car to shift Riaz to a Chippa booth. The ambulance then took Riaz to the hospital where doctors confirmed his death, said Malik.
Shara-e-Noor Jahan SHO Khalid Nadeem Baig reached the crime scene and gathered evidence which included bullet shells and CCTV footage from a camera at the house adjacent to the DSP's. "The police also summoned a fingerprint expert to obtain forensic evidence with the help of chemicals," said Malik. He added that the perpetrators knew that this was a police officer's house. "It appears that the crime was premeditated," he noted.
Malik said that his last posting was at Pakistan Bazaar Police Station in 2013 after which he had left for Canada as he and his family were receiving threats. He added that he had returned to the city only two months ago. "My mother passed away a week ago. My family was still mourning when this tragedy occurred."
Doctor shot dead
Meanwhile, a doctor was shot dead by robbers over putting up resistance during a robbery bid in a bungalow in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The deceased, identified as Ayesha, wife of Shahzadur Rehman, was the sister-in-law of the area's SHO, Sarwar Commando.
Four or five armed dacoits, in a Honda Civic, bearing the registration plate AWP 747, broke into a house in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 13 within the jurisdiction of Sharae Faisal Police Station. The dacoits began looting the residents of the ground floor of the house and the residents raised a ruckus. Hearing the commotion, the people on the first floor of the house opened fire and the dacoits retaliated with more gunfire, leaving Ayesha critically injured.
The dacoits attempted to leave the bungalow and flee in their car but as the residents from the first floor continued spraying bullets, the dacoits abandoned their car and fled, leaving behind one of their pistols.
The police were informed through the Madadgar 15 helpline and Ayesha was shifted first to Darul Sehat and then to a private hospital near Stadium Road where she succumbed to her injuries and died.
Ayesha was a doctor who had come to Karachi from Canada to attend a wedding. She had been in the city from the past month and was going to leave next week. Sharae Faisal SHO Sarwar Commando said that the deceased doctor was his sister-in-law and had come to the city for her niece's wedding. She had come with her husband and three daughters.
According to the SHO, the bungalow belonged to his relative, a retired professor of the Pakistan Shipowners' College, Prof Shakilur Rehman. The professor's grandson was living in the house along with his family. The SHO said that the police received news of the dacoits and the ensuing firing at 8.20am. The dacoits opened fire on his nephew as soon as they entered the house and then tried to flee as the police reached the scene, said the SHO. He added that his relatives informed him that the robbers were well dressed with one of them wearing a school uniform and another one wearing a tie. According to him, the robbers held a domestic servant of the house hostage as they entered the bungalow. However, they were unable to rob the house, said the SHO. He informed that a guard of a private security company was posted at the bungalow but was on holiday on the day of the crime. He said that the police have taken the guard to the police station for interrogation.
One Kalashnikov, one pistol, a mobile phone, a purse, two police caps, police lights and the number plate of a car ATC 458, were found from the scene of the crime, said the SHO, adding that according to the records of the Citizens Police Liaison Committee, the car used by the dacoits was not used in any other crime. Besides, said the SHO, the police collected fingerprints, a 9mm pistol, empty shells of a 30-bore pistol and CCTV footage. The SHO said that the police had collected a lot of evidence and the dacoits would be traced soon.
Ayesha's funeral and burial will take place in Karachi, he added. Sindh IGP and SSPs of east and central districts have sought details of the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2019.
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