An alleged dacoit that the Khairpur police killed in an encounter on Thursday was actually a trader from Multan, the family has claimed.
On Thursday night, the Khairpur police claimed to have busted an inter-provincial robbery group, killing one suspect in an alleged encounter and arresting two others on National Highway within the jurisdiction of the Faiz Ganj police station.
The three suspects, Abdul Sattar Rajput, Tariq Shah Bukhari and Akbar Rajput, were injured during the encounter near Ghulam Shah Morr. All three men were taken to the Faiz Ganj hospital in critical condition where Abdul Sattar succumbed to his wounds. Meanwhile, Akbar is still in critical condition and has been shifted to a Nawabshah hospital. The police have lodged an FIR against six robbers.
On the other hand, the female relatives of Abdul Sattar claimed the three men were traders and that the police killed them in a fake encounter. “They were businessmen and had come from Dubai only two months ago,” said Bukhari’s sister Parveen. The relatives reached Faiz Ganj on Friday.
According to Bukhari, who was injured in the same incident, the police arrested them from a hotel in Sehwan. They took us away and tortured us, he claimed. Dr Basheer Ahmed, who works at the Faiz Ganj hospital said Abdul Sattar was shot 12 times in the chest and there were torture marks on his body.
Abdul Sattar’s relative, Zulekhan Khatoon, said she has receipts and other details that prove that these men came from Dubai. She can also provide mobile calls data of the deceased man to show who he was in contact with. Khatoon claimed that the police arrested these men from a hotel in Sehwan along with foreign currency. This proves that they had come from Dubai, she said. These men were accompanies by other family members, a woman and two children, but the police have failed to produce them, she said.
The families were given custody of Abdul Sattar’s body 32 hours later, once the legal formalities were completed. The locals in Faiz Ganj collected money from each other for an ambulance as the family had no money.
Meanwhile, the police insisted that they have busted a group of robbers. “It is not a local group but may be an international one,” said Faiz Ganj SHO Ghulam Mustafa Meerani. His team were on patrol when they spotted three robbers looting a bus named Royal City, he said, adding that they are digging up the criminal records of the three men and their possible accomplices.
Khairpur City SSP Sajjid Khokhar pointed out that at least 17 cases of robberies were proved against the group until Saturday. They were involved in robberies in different cities, such as Sukkur, Hyderabad and Karachi, he added.
“They are involved at least 100 robberies,” Khokhar claimed. They used to cut out organs of women and children during these robberies, he claimed. The group is divided into two, with two people collecting records of houses identified in a certain locality, he explained. “They have always preferred isolated houses,” he added.
Though the police claimed that they have busted an inter-provincial robbery gang, the residents of Faiz Ganj were sceptical and demanded a thorough investigation. “Yes, an investigation must be initiated,” agreed SSP Khokhar. “I am sure reports of such cases will also surface from the Punjab.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.