A 22-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds was brought to Civil hospital on Tuesday morning, claiming that he had been thrown into the Lyari river after being tortured in Pak Colony.
Imran Awan, whose name was entered into hospital records as Mohammad Younus, was admitted to the orthopedic ward. His entire family, cousins and aunts rushed to his side.
His left arm and leg had been bandaged. Doctors said that at least five bullets hit Imran, piercing his arm and leg. A ‘low velocity weapon like a TT pistol’ was used in the attack. One bullet is lodged in his leg. Other wounds included marks on his abdomen and upper shoulder.
Imran’s brother Shahnawaz said that he and his brother were daily wage earners, who worked at road constructions sites. These days both of them were working at Gaggar Phattak near Gulshan-e-Hadeed.
“My brother had left home from Ranchore Lines at around 11 pm to leave for a market in Garden when he was abducted by armed men,” Shahnawaz said. According to his family, Imran was taken to Pak Colony, where after an elaborate torture session, he was thrown into the Lyari river. “They fired bullets at him when he was thrown into the river, but luckily these didn’t hit him.”
Imran’s aunt added that the young man’s hands and feet were tied together when he was thrown. “We are Sindhi Marwaris by caste.”
Six hours later, a police picket near the river saw Imran waving and screaming for help and he was immediately rescued and taken to Civil hospital. He had lost a lot of blood and was in a state of shock.
A doctor at Civil hospital, who treated Imran first, contradicted the family’s account. “When he was brought in, he told me that he was shot by some people from whom he had gone to buy drugs,” he said on condition of anonymity. The doctor said there were no torture marks on Imran’s body, but the injuries he sustained were consistent with anyone falling from a high point.
A case was lodged at the Pak Colony police station. Sub Inspector Shakeel Shirvani says that the family was telling the media lies as they were probably too embarrassed to admit that Imran was a drug user, hooked on hashish. He rubbished claims that Imran was found in a gunny bag.
“In fact, he was not even abducted. He went to Pak Colony himself to buy his usual fix,” the officer said. However, instead of handing over the drugs as usual, they took him on their motorcycle near the river and told him to run. “It was while he ran that he was shot from behind and he fell into the river,” the officer said. On asking why someone would shoot him, Shirvani replied that the police was still investigating.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2011.