HYDERABAD: A suspected kidnapper, carrying a head money of Rs1 million, was shot dead in a police encounter on Saturday. The suspect, Ahmad alias Ahmado Maachi, a resident of Naushero Feroz district, was booked in over 50 criminal cases in various districts. The details of 23 FIRs against Maachi have been shared with the media.
These included at least two kidnapping cases in Hyderabad and Nawabshah districts, besides murder, attempted murder, robberies and encounters with the police. In one of the kidnappings, the son of Sindh High Court Bar Association's president advocate Nisar Durrani was abducted for ransom.
According to SSP Irfan Baloch, the police received information about the presence of notorious kidnappers, Mohammad Ali Hotipoto, Imdad Khokhar alias Fauji and Maachi, near the Sadiq Levna Housing scheme along the bypass. "The suspects opened fire at the police mobiles and two of them managed to escape. Maachi was killed in the exchange of fire," said SSP Baloch.
The Hyderabad range police are pursuing the kidnappers' network. They have unearthed at least two networks of kidnappers that were involved in the majority of the 21 or 22 kidnapping incidents reported in the range in 2014. One of the victims, deputy medical superintendent of the Sir CJ Cowasjee Mental Hospital in Hyderabad, Dr Imdad Soomro, was killed after a month-long abduction. His body was thrown along the Indus Highway in Jamshoro district on September 19.
A lawyer, Advocate Ashfaq Lanjar, was also detained on December 27 over suspicions of his involvement with the network. He was subsequently released after a three-day detention on December 29 but he, along with one more lawyer, remains a suspect. "The police have such credible evidence regarding his involvement that even the bar associations did not react to his detention," a senior police official told The Express Tribune. At least two lawyers, some students, a former nazim of Qasimabad town, Mehboob Abro, a politician and a tribal chief are part of these networks, according to the official.
Hotipoto leads one of the networks. He is also a suspect in many other kidnappings, including the one of the director general of National Highway Authority (NHA), Shabbir Shaikh and MUET student Hassan Mustafa Phul.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2015.