KARACHI: Three suspected gang members were killed during an alleged encounter with the police in troubled Lyari on Saturday.
According to the police, the encounter took place at Sardar Sheikha Road in Nayabad within the limits of Kalri police station. The bodies of the slain men were taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi, where they were identified as Rehman, 22, Ali, 19, and Arjun, 20. They were residents of Shah Baig Lane in Lyari.
Their relatives, however, claimed that they were first arrested by the police and later killed in a fake encounter while in police custody. They staged a protest and demanded an independent inquiry into the incident.
"This is not the first time that people have been killed in a fake encounter," said Imdad, a relative of one of the slain suspects. "Everyone knows that the people of Lyari are being killed in fake encounters but there is no one to look into such incidents."
Police officials, on the other hand, denied the allegations against them. Kalri DSP Murtaza Mirani said that a police constable, Khalid, was also injured in the crossfire. He added that the suspects killed belonged to the Sheraz Comrade gang of the Uzair Baloch.
"We conducted raids for their arrests a number of times but they were able to escape each time," claimed Mirani. "Three of our men were even injured in the previous raids. This time, however, their luck ran out."
He said that the suspects had been given the command of Nayabad and its surrounding localities, where they had been involved in cases of extortion and street crime. The cases were registered and further investigation is underway.