KARACHI: Security forces claimed on Friday to have arrested a man believed to have been involved in the targeted killings of four political workers of Sindh coalition government parties.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has detained Muhammad Akhtar alias Baba, son of Muhammad Iqbal, said to be a serial target killer. He is accused of killing one member of the Awami National Party (ANP), two activists of the Pakistan People’s Party and one worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “He has been involved in target killings which have taken place [in the city] during the last few years and we suspect his involvement in other cases as well,” said CID’s SSP Operations Fayyaz Khan, adding that the police have been searching for him for a long time.
Akhtar was picked up from a 24-hour grocery store near the PTCL office in the limits of the Saeedabad Police Station by a CID team led by Inspector Mehmood Khan and supervised by SSP Khan.
CID officials said that they found a Kalashnikov and 150 bullets from his possession at the time of the arrest.
During questioning, Akhtar revealed that he and his accomplices were involved in other killings and robberies, according to the SSP. Hussain and his accomplices, Shakeel and Babu, allegedly sprayed Liaquat, an MQM activist, with bullets in front of his house last year. The Saeedabad police had registered FIR 766/09 under Section 302/34 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Akhtar also confessed to have killed Fazale Wahid, an ANP worker, in Saeedabad in the year 2008.
Similarly, two PPP activists - Shaheen Qureshi and Ejaz Qureshi - were allegedly killed by Akhtar and his accomplices, also in Saeedabad. The PPP activists were brothers, CID officials said.
According to security officials, the arrested criminal is the leader of a gang, which is not only involved in target killings but also in robberies, kidnappings for ransom and extortion cases.
Akhtar alias Baba is a resident of Mohajir Camp, Saeedabad.
SSP Khan said that the CID was determined to end the menace of target killings in the city and would leave no stone unturned to arrest the criminals.
Amidst a fresh spate of target killings, this is the first arrest made public by the security agencies in this regard.
At least 49 people have been killed in political target killings which began early this year. Meanwhile, 21 people have been killed in the recent spate of sectarian violence across the city that includes doctors and law-enforcement personnel.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2010.
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