The paramilitary force claimed to have arrested a 'notorious' target killer and an extortionist during a raid in PIB Colony on Monday. Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar claimed the Rangers also ransacked his private security camp outside his residence and seized his 9mm pistol.
According to the Rangers, one of the suspects Shamshad Ali was involved in operating a chain of target killers while the second suspect, Ahmed Yasir, was involved in extortion activities.
The raid was conducted after the Rangers received an intelligence report on the presence of the notorious target killer and the extortionist. The paramilitary force reached the area with at least five vans and 20 motorcycles. They arrested the two men near Dr Sattar's house and denied that they picked up any more people. They did admit to seizing illicit weapons during the raid.
Meanwhile, MQM's Dr Sattar claimed that five men were arrested from near his house in PIB Colony. "The Rangers did not knock at my door nor did they conduct a raid inside my house," he told The Express Tribune. "But they ransacked my private security camp and took away my 9mm licenced pistol."
The MQM leader said that the Rangers conducted raids at houses in his area without search warrants and without the presence of female officers.
Sattar, who had gone to sleep when the raid took place at 2am, was woken up by an attendant and saw Rangers roaming around the area. "Dozens of men picked up by the Rangers were beaten up and then released. Two men, Shamshad and Yasir, were arrested while reports of the arrest of a third man, Kashif, are also being heard."
For their part, the Rangers insisted the raid was conducted two streets away from the house of Dr Farooq Sattar. "The unnecessary hue and cry [made by the party] seems to be aimed at saving the criminals and to confuse the public opinion to undermine the rule of law," he said. The spokesperson insisted that their drive against criminals will continue and they will not let any 'tactics' deter their resolve.
Dr Sattar said the party has neither put up resistance during a raid nor do they get in the way of investigation. Nevertheless, he appealed to the Karachi Corps Commander, Rangers DG and the Sindh chief minister to take notice of Monday's raid.
The suspect, Ali, is a close aide of a prominent politician, according to the Rangers spokesperson. He was the ringleader of a chain of target killers, who himself revealed to have killed at least 12 people, including three policemen of the New Town police station on the orders of a political figure. He has also ordered the killings of 35 other people, including the paternal uncle of notorious gangster Ahmed Ali Magsi, the spokesperson added.
Ali, who is an employee of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, used to provide the money he gained from corruption within the department to a 'prominent politician'. He was also the in-charge of the PIB Colony unit of the MQM, the Rangers claimed. His name came on the Rangers' list after he was nominated in several FIRs across various police stations in the city. Apart from heading a gang of target killers, Ali was also involved in extortion and he used to give the earnings to the same politician. "Probe against the accused, Ali, may be extended to the political figure as well," said the spokesperson. Meanwhile, Dr Sattar claimed that the suspect, Ali, was a party worker. "Instead of labelling him a 'target killer' in just 12 hours, the Rangers should have stated that they were taking him for questioning over suspicions."
MQM press conference
Later on Monday, the party held a news conference at Karachi Press Club. MQM Rabita Committee member Kanwar Naveed said the raid was a direct threat to them. "The operation should be monitored and controlled," said Naveed.
"We were in favour of an operation against criminals and terrorists but this operation has turned biased and partial," he said. "If a respected and dignified politician, such as Farooq Sattar, is treated this way and a raid is conducted in his area, then how will common citizens be treated?"
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2014.