After obfuscating the facts for a day, the Hyderabad police declared the arrest of two suspects in connection with the murder of Geo TV journalist Wali Khan Babar on Saturday.
The admission came from the city’s top officer on Saturday at a press conference, which was called to show a group of arrested suspects involved in robberies and snatchings as well as the weapons seized from them.
The news of the arrest of Fahim alias Baddo and Kamran alias Aba began to make the rounds on Thursday night.
On Friday, the Sakhi Pir police charged the two men with attempted murder, obstructing duty and possession of illegal weapons over an enounter with the police. They also secured three days of judicial remand from court where they were presented amid heavy security.
“Initial interrogations suggest that they are involved in the killing,” said Hyderabad SSP Asad Raza Shah. “However, the JIT (joint interrogation team) will question them and only after that can a case be made.”
According to the SSP, Fahim and Kamran were arrested when they were about to attempt a robbery at a gold factory. “We also arrested three accomplices and prevented the crime from taking place,” Shah claimed. The police identified them as Suhail, Naeem and Adil.
He maintained that Fahim and Kamran have accepted their involvement in target killings and robberies. However, Shah deflected a question when asked to reveal the suspects’ political affiliations, if any. “From here on, it will be the JIT in charge of the case,” he reiterated.
Wali Khan Babar was shot dead on January 13 in Liaquatabad No. 1 near the Apwa school in Karachi as he was going home from office. The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) was tasked with the case. Its JIT concluded that Babar was followed soon after he left his office at Shaheen Complex that day.
In April, five men arrested in another case by the Gulshan-e-Iqbal police had confessed to Babar’s murder during a routine interrogation. The detained men are Muhammad Shahrukh Khan, Faisal Muhammad, Muhammad Shakeel, Syed Tahir Naveed Shah and Syed Muhammad Ali Rizvi. They are awaiting trial. The absconding men wanted in the case include Faisal ‘Mota’, Asad, Nasir, Kamran and Saeed ‘Commando’.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2011.
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