The Rangers have been accused of killing a man for not stopping his car in Gulistan-e-Jauhar on Tuesday, less than two months after the paramilitary force killed another man for the same reason.
As the residents were rushing home to break their fast, four Rangers personnel gestured at a black-and-yellow taxi to stop while they were manning a thoroughfare in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. When the driver, 36-year-old Mureed, failed to stop, one of the Rangers personnel - Ghulam Rasul - allegedly opened fire from the front and shot him multiple times.
Mureed died shortly afterwards in front of his minor son. His body was taken to Jinnah hospital for an autopsy and was then handed over to the family. “The victim was dead when he was brought to the hospital,” said the medico-legal officer at Jinnah hospital. “He was shot four times in his chest and that caused his death.”
A resident of Chishti Nagar, Block 10 in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Mureed had left home with his four-year-old son to buy fruits and other groceries for iftar, according to the family. “The Rangers men on motorcycles signalled the taxi to stop,” claimed a witness. “The driver stopped and started reversing towards the Rangers who opened fire at him.”
Mureed’s son remained safe in the firing but he was unable to speak after witnessing the shooting. The family fears he may be suffering from severe trauma.
A similar incident had occurred on June 4, when a Rangers solider shot and killed 22-year-old Ghulam Haider in Shah Faisal Colony for not stopping his car. The newly wed man was driving his cousin to the hospital for a dialysis when he was shot. As a result, the paramilitary solider was arrested and is currently facing trial.
Following the incident, several people gathered around Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station, shouting slogans against the Rangers. As victim lived in the same area, his wife also joined the protesters at the police station after she received the news about her husband’s killing. “They [Rangers] could have burst the tyres, if they were suspicious of him,” she said, amid tears. “They do not have a right to kill anyone in this manner.”
The Rangers soldier responsible for the incident initially told the police that he opened fire when the driver tried to escape even though he signalled him to stop the vehicle. Ghulam Rasul insisted that Mureed was a robber and he opened fire to prevent the kidnapping of a minor boy. Several senior Rangers officials reached the site to calm down the protesters.
Meanwhile, the police declared that Mureed was not kidnapping anyone. He had no criminal records and was a taxi driver by profession, said the police chief for district East, DIG Tahir Naveed. “Ghulam Rasul has been arrested for the murder of a resident,” he said, adding that he will not be given any relief and will be dealt according to the law. The police have registered an FIR No. 413/13.
The Rangers director general, Major General Rizwan Akhtar, taking the notice of the incident suspended the four Rangers personnel. “We have detained all four Rangers personnel,” the Rangers spokesperson told The Express Tribune. “The FIR of the case will be registered after initial inquiry into the incident.” According to DIG Naveed, a case was registered against the Rangers personnel on behalf of the victim’s wife. “There is no space for errors on the part of the law enforcers, especially while they are on duty.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.