KARACHI: As friends and family put 17-year-old Hamza Ahmed to rest on Sunday, police were busy trying to locate the security guard, Amal, who has been accused of murdering the young boy after shooting him four times on Saturday.
Hamza was shot in Khayaban-e-Seher of the Defence Housing Authority allegedly by the guard when he went to meet Shoaib, a student of Bay View Academy. Both the boys were reportedly involved in a dispute over a girl, M, who was said to be Hamza’s girlfriend. After the shooting, Shoaib and his family surrendered themselves to the police but the guard was nowhere to be found.
Shoaib was produced before the court on Sunday and the police was granted a five-day physical remand.
The question remains of whether Shoaib asked his guard to kill Hamza - as narrated by the deceased’s friends who were with him - or did the guard open fire without any instructions after getting into a scuffle with Hamza - as argued by Shoaib’s father. Police have reportedly obtained the CCTV footage from Downtown Café where Hamza was killed but have been unable to find any answers.
Station Investigation Officer, Aleem Kolachi, however, said that the footage hasn’t been much help. “Unfortunately the incident took place outside the camera’s range,” he told The Express Tribune. “If the killing had been recorded, it would have made it easier for us to solve the case and to incriminate the suspects in court.”
He added that the investigation was in its preliminary stages. The police have contacted the mobile networks for call records of Hamza, Shoaib and M. He said that the police will also record the statement of M.
Guard on the run
According to the investigation officer, the police have some clues about the location of the security guard who fled from the scene and raids for his arrest were being carried out. A 9mm pistol that was used in the murder and was later seized by the police will be sent to the forensic division of the Sindh police today (Monday) to match the bullets and the pistol. Major (retired) Khurshid, an official of the Kardesler Security Company Private Limited which hired Amal, told The Express Tribune that they were also investigating the incident and the company would be able to officially comment on the matter once the investigations were concluded.
When he was told that the security company’s client, Shoaib’s father Naveed Ahmed, had categorically held the guard, Amal, liable for breach of conduct in his conversation with The Express Tribune, Major (retired) Khurshid refused to comment and said that the newspaper could quote the client’s version. He, however, added that the accused security guard was employed through the company’s regular procedure of employment. “Like all the Kardesler’s security guards, the ex-Pakistan Army soldier was hired after proper verification and training.”
When asked about a news report published last year in a newspaper, saying that the Kardesler was among the 138 private security companies across the country that were operating without licences, Major (retired) Khurshid termed the report ‘nonsensical’ and ‘bogus’. “That is how media negatively changes the public opinion with their half-baked news stories. I will drag the newspaper to the courts,” said the apparently incensed former military officer. “How could we be blamed with expiry of the licence when we had just started operations in 2012.”
Prayers for the deceased
Hamza’s funeral prayers were offered at Masjid Umer-e-Farooq in Phase VI, DHA after Zuhr prayers. The funeral was attended by his relatives, friends and neighbours. He was buried at the DHA Graveyard. Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s leader, Babar Ghauri, also attended the funeral.
The deceased’s father, Talib Sohail Ahmed, told The Express Tribune that he will never forgive those responsible for his son’s killing. “Till the time we don’t put an end to this guard culture, our children, like Shahzeb Khan and Hamza, will keep getting killed,” he said. “We will have to unite to stand up against such people - there is no other option.”
He said that he has been satisfied with the police’s performance up till now but could not say what would happen in the coming days. “If the police can arrest the boy [Shoaib], then why not the guard? I will seek justice for my son till my last breath.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2013.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Shoaib's school as Bay View High School.
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