Karachi: Graveyard scam unearthed; three held
KARACHI: The Shadman Town Supervisory Police Officer (SPO) has unearthed a scam where contractors and workers at the Sakhi Hasan graveyard destroyed old graves, sold skeletons, and buried new corpses in these graves. Three suspects were arrested. Tahir Hussain, a resident of North Nazimabad, told the police that he used to visit the Sakhi Hasan graveyard occasionally to offer Fateha at his mother’s grave.
On July 31 when he went to the graveyard he found that his mother’s grave was dug up and the bones were missing from the grave. When he enquired from the undertakers, they could not give an appropriate answer. Consequently, he personally inquired into the matter and found that some of the undertakers were involved in selling bones and dead bodies.
Later, Hussain approached the Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan police station and registered his complaint. He narrated the whole story, following which, his case was transferred for investigation.
Another complainant, Mohammed Ehsan Khan, son of a retired DSP (Sindh Police) Mohammed Aleem Khan and a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, stated that he used to visit the Sakhi Hasan graveyard since his father was laid to rest there in 1985.
He could not visit his father’s grave for the past few years owing to his hectic schedule, but when he went there on Shab-e-Baraat (August 17), he found that his father’s grave missing. Upon raising a hue and cry, he came to know that the administration of the Sakhi Hasan graveyard has buried someone called Mohammed Dildaar, Essa Jan, in that grave in the year 2005. Khan shouted at the undertakers before narrating the whole matter to the SPO Shadman Town Shah Jehan Khan. The latter directed the Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan police to register a case in this regard.
According to the SPO, it transpired during the course of investigation that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had banned further burials at the Sakhi Hasan graveyard in the year 2003. Some undertakers there, however, used to arrange burials against a handsome gratification.
Consequently, a raid was conducted at the graveyard during which the police arrested three suspects — Khadim Hussain (assistant contractor of the graveyard), Yar Mohammed (watchman) and Riaz (grave digger) — and took them to investigation unit.
The suspects revealed the names of their ring leaders as Ghani Baloch and Ghafoor – the contractors of the graveyard. They disclosed that since the imposition of the ban they had sold more than 200 graves to various people at Rs11,000 to Rs15,000 per grave.
They dug the old graves and handed over skeletons and bones to Ghani and Ghafoor who sold them to some unknown party. The last such sale of a grave was made on August 16. The suspects further disclosed that about 300 people worked at the graveyard. They watered graves. On August 18, they again attempted to make such a sale but were caught by the police.
The suspects further revealed that they kept an eye on old graves and then painted the tombstone black before removing it. But if nobody turned up, they broke the grave and buried a new corpse. SPO Khan said that they have seized the records and files recovered from the custody of graveyard watchman Yar Mohammed, a resident of Mianwali Colony. Mohammad had worked at the graveyard for the past eight years, and had been in the business of selling old graves for the sake of money.
Assistant contractor of the graveyard Khadim Hussain, a resident of Nusrat Bhutto Colony, confessed that he had been working on the instigation of suspected contractors, Ghani and Ghafoor.
Another suspect Riaz (grave digger) admitted that he committed the crime of destroying graves and burying new corpses there around 200 times.
Further probe is underway and the investigation staff of the Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan police station has been conducting raids for the arrest of the remaining suspects.