Fatal feuds: Ex-state minister’s son held over boy’s murder

As 16-year-old Zain Rauf is laid to rest, his family receives threatening calls


Hassan Naqvi April 03, 2015
As 16-year-old Zain Rauf is laid to rest, his family receives threatening calls. PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

LAHORE: Police on Thursday arrested the son of a former state minister in the Kharor Pakka area of Lodhran in connection with the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old motorcyclist near the Cavalry Ground a day earlier.

Mustafa Kanju, the son of former state minister Siddique Kanju and younger brother of the sitting lawmaker from Lodhran, is accused of resorting to gunfire after a petty argument over a car accident.

Eyewitnesses say the group was armed with Kalashnikovs and the man who fired the weapon was drunk. Police claim all the bullets fired were from a single gun.

Zain Rauf, 16, was going on his motorcycle when he was hit by bullets. Another passerby, Hasnain Ahmed, was also injured in the gunfire.

SSP Investigations Lahore Rana Ayyaz Saleem confirmed the arrest of the suspect who has since been moved to Lahore.

Mustafa has been locked up at the South Cantonment police station. Five of the seven guards accompanying Mustafa Kanju were arrested late Wednesday after police registered a case against the suspects. All the suspects will be presented before an anti-terrorism court today (Friday) where police will likely try to get their remand.

The victim’s family is getting threatening calls from “unknown callers” warning them of dire consequences if they proceed with the case.

Tragic ending

Zain was laid to rest after funeral prayers in Cavalry Ground, where a large number of people from different walks of life turned up. Around 50 of his classmates, cousins and friends protested, carrying placards and banners, shouting slogans against the suspects and the government.

At the funeral, Zain’s mother Ghazala Rauf cried incessantly. She had lost her husband Abdul Rauf last year following his unsuccessful surgery in England.

“I request the chief minister to hang these people who are behind the murder of my innocent son,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.

Zain’s uncle, Muhammad Saleem, told The Express Tribune the family had been receiving threatening calls since Wednesday night, pressuring them to accept “blood money”. The Islamic law of “Diyat” allows payment of financial compensation to the victim or his heirs in cases of murder, bodily harm or property damage.

DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf said the family had been provided security cover. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident.

Mustafa obtained his degree from the UK and returned to Pakistan in 2001, an area resident told The Express Tribune. He has been jobless for the past seven years, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2015.

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