Bus bandits kill two passengers in Orangi
KARACHI: Two young men were gunned down and another passenger was wounded inside a moving bus in Orangi Town as they tried to overpower some armed bandits who were about to flee after robbing passengers of cash and valuables at gunpoint on Friday, police and witnesses said.
The incident prompted the passengers and area people to stage a protest demonstration on the main Manghopir Road and shout slogans against growing crime in the area and police failure to provide security to residents.
“The incident occurred in the second half of the day when the bus of route W-25 was heading to the industrial area from Orangi Town,” said an official at the Orangi Town police station.
He said: “There are different eyewitness accounts. A few passengers said two men got off the bus at a stop called Bakra Piri, while others claimed to have seen three armed men.”
The official quoted the eyewitnesses as saying that just a couple of minutes after getting on the bus, the armed men pulled out pistols, asked the driver to keep driving and started robbing passengers of cash, cellphones and other valuables at gunpoint, said the official. “There were about a dozen passengers, including a couple of women, in the bus. The bandits were done in less than five minutes and moved towards the rear exit of the bus,” he said.
A few young passengers, already enraged over losing their valuables, saw red when the armed men used abusive language while leaving the bus and tried to overpower the bandits. However, the bandits opened fire on the passengers, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes. The armed men grabbing the opportunity managed to get off the bus and ran away.
“We are still ascertaining the exact scene as to what actually happened and how many people were involved in the robbery,” the official said. He said the firing left three passengers — Arsalan Hasan, Atif Karim and Abul Qasim — all in their late 20s, wounded. They were rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where they were operated upon. Arsalan died within an hour at the health facility, the police said, adding that a few hours later, Atif succumbed to his wounds during treatment.
The official said: “Arsalan was a resident of North Karachi`s Sector 11-A and employed with an industrial unit in the SITE area. Atif had recently shifted from Sector 11-1/2 to Surjani Town and he was heading to the industrial area to meet someone.”
The news of Arsalan`s death at the hospital caused further tension in the area. Residents took to the streets against rising street crimes that had not yet attracted any visible action from the area police, the witnesses said.
Investigators said they had collected seven spent bullet casings of different TT pistols from the crime scene. They said the facts were being gathered to determine the identity of the robbers.
Orangi Town SHO Inspector Ishtiaq Ghori said: “We have a few eyewitnesses to the incident, including the bus passengers, who can explain appearances and features of the bandits. In the first phase, we will try to get their sketches prepared. Besides, a few leads from the crime-scene will also help establish identities and trace the bandits.”
He said that the police registered a case (FIR 42/2011) under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 392 (punishment for robbery), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against unidentified suspects on a complaint of Hassan Ahmed, the paternal cousin of one of the victims.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.