Karachi: Police arrest 17 vigilantes for robber burning
KARACHI: The Saddar Town UC-1 nazim and naib nazim led on Friday afternoon the people of Nishtar Road in a protest at the Eidgah Police Station after the police raided the area and arrested 17 men on the charge of killing three alleged dacoits on Wednesday.
The three were caught trying to escape after robbing flat No. 303, during which resident Akbar was injured. Normally, policemen catch robbers. This time, it was different – these robbers fell into the hands of a mob of incensed residents who beat and burnt these robbers so badly that two died immediately and the third died at the hospital.
After the police arrested 17 residents of this neighborhood and nominated them in the FIR, scores of people led by the nazim and naib nazim of Saddar Town UC-1 surrounded the police station. It took heavy police contingents to disperse the crowd, albeit peacefully. These people later moved to Nishtar Road, where they burnt tyres.
The police once again tried to talk the crowd down as they had on Wednesday, but to no effect. The police then used two shells of tear gas, and after contacting officials, they just stood there, while some twenty people sat on the road in protest, surrounded by dozens others, with hundreds more on the other sides of the road. Area residents, particularly women and children, spent the whole day watching the scene from their windows.
Traffic was suspended and shops were shut down. Interestingly, a man sitting with the protestors lay down and the people around him, suggested that he was unconscious. A volunteer from the Chhipa Welfare Association, whose ambulance was already present, rushed to help him, but soon discovered that this was just an act.
When this correspondent asked the protestors, including the nazim and naib nazim, why this protest was being held, they said that the police had arrested innocent people, who were not even involved in the torture and killing of the alleged robbers. However, they denied any knowledge of who was actually involved in the incident.
At least 10 mobile units of fed-up police surrounded the protestors who claimed that the police had offered to release the arrested if given others to arrest in their place, a sort of exchange. Hussain denied these allegations, adding that all the arrests made were real and based on media footage. He also said that he was under orders to remain there till further notice.
The three men who were killed were later identified by family at the Edhi Morgue (Sohrab Goth). One was identified as Shaukat Abbasi by his brother, Waqar, and uncle, Mohammad Iqbal. According to Iqbal, Abbasi lived in a rented place in Usmanabad, Dhobi Ghat and was a rickshaw driver by profession, not a robber. Iqbal said that he took some passengers to Nishtar Road on Wednesday, which is why he was there. Another man identified by his mother as Mohammad Rashid, was a resident of Jacob Lane, while the third was identified as Mohammad Sultan by his father. He was a resident of Lyari and hailed from Attock. Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza issued inquiry orders on Thursday and suspended the Eidgah SHO.