KARACHI: The Rangers men accused of killing a taxi driver allegedly for failing to stop his vehicles have yet to be handed over to police custody.
Meanwhile, the deceased was laid to rest by relatives amid apprehension and grief over their sudden loss on Wednesday. The slain taxi driver, Mureed Ali alias Murad Ali, a father of two minor children, was killed by Rangers personnel near his home in Gulistan-e-Jauhar for reportedly not stopping his vehicle after he was signalled to stop.
Police have registered a case against the Rangers sepoys on the complaint of the victim’s wife and started investigations. The Rangers personnel responsible for the incident have, however, yet to be handed over to the police as all four personnel were detained by the Rangers immediately after the incident.
AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebu told The Express Tribune that the Rangers detained their soldiers before the police could catch them. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “They are not common citizens who are liable to escape. Rangers will hand over the men to the police soon so we can conduct our investigation.”
Another Rangers personnel, who was arrested over the alleged killing of a newlywed, Ghulam Haider, 22, in Shah Faisal Colony on June 4, is currently facing trial. He was also initially interrogated by the Rangers and later handed over to the police. “Both these cases are similar in nature. It remains to be seen what their families will do in the future,” he said, explaining that the families will either pardon the personnel or not pursue the case, as in the case of Sarfaraz Shah, or will fight the case in court.
On the other hand, the Rangers spokesperson assured that strict action will be taken against the personnel responsible for the incident. “We have been on high alert following the frequent attacks on the Rangers, especially after the attack on two Rangers near Sohrab Goth a day before this incident,” said the spokesperson. He said, however, that this was no excuse for the mistake which lead to such a grave incident.
Laid to rest
The funeral prayer of the victim was offered at an Imambargah in Ancholi after Fajr prayers. He was laid to rest at the Wadius Salam graveyard in North Karachi. A large number of people including his family members, relatives and friends attended the funeral. They also staged a protest against the Rangers personnel responsible for the incident.
The deceased belonged to a poor family and was a resident of Chishti Nagar, Gulistan-e-Jauhar. He has left behind a widow and two minor sons. The family appealed to the government to send the Rangers back to the borders. “Rangers were summoned to the city for our safety, not for our murder. Send them back when they cannot ensure our security,” said the victim’s brother, Ejaz Ali. “If the government had taken steps over the killings of innocent citizens by Rangers in the past, this would never have happened.” According to Ali, frequent stories of apprehensions and torture of innocent citizens by the Rangers had scared his brother. “My brother tried to avoid the Rangers personnel because of their harsh behaviour and paid the price.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.