Karachi: ‘Extortionist’ lynched, aide held in Kharadar
KARACHI, March 10: A suspected extortionist was lynched and his aide badly injured by an angry mob in a Kharadar locality on Thursday after the two had allegedly shot at and wounded a young trader for rejecting their extortion demand, officials and witnesses said.
This is a fourth such episode since the beginning of the year in which a suspect trapped by an angry mob has met his death, indicating growing intolerance in society and mistrust of the common man in police and criminal proceedings.
It was early morning when two men on a motorbike arrived at a shop in Gao Gali near Kakri Ground — neighbouring the old localities of Lyari and Kharadar — to receive the extortion money they had demanded a couple of days ago through a slip, better known as ‘parchi’, the area police said.
“The suspects — one of whom was carrying a sub-machine gun — entered the shop, Bismillah Chicken Centre, and became involved in an altercation with the shop owners,” said Kharadar SHO Inspector Ghulam Nabi Afridi.
He said the shop was owned by two brothers, Zahid and Tariq, who had been running their business in the area for the past several years.
Quoting witness accounts, he said they heard a single gunshot after a heated debate.
“Panic spread through a crowd of traders preparing to open up their shops in the area and they ran for safety. But within a few moments they realised the exact situation and returned,” the inspector said.
The traders intervened when they saw Zahid, one of the shop owners, lying in a pool of blood after being hit by a bullet and his brother, Tariq, struggling with the two suspects, the SHO said.
He said the suspects also fired a shot in a bid to escape but the bullet did not hit anyone.
“The suspects’ attempt added fuel to the fire of traders’ rage,” said Inspector Afridi, adding that they managed to overpower the suspects.
In the absence of law-enforcers, however, the crowd was left free to thrash the suspects with sticks, knives and any object they could get their hands on, the witnesses said.
Later, the wounded trader and the injured suspects were shifted to the civil hospital, where doctors pronounced one of the suspects dead.
The suspect who survived went through multiple minor surgeries, said an official at the medico-legal section of the hospital.
“The police have recorded the statement of the injured suspect, Asif,” said SP Qamar Raza Jaskani of the City Town.
“He identified his aide as Naveed and said both were residents of Lyari. They had a criminal record and were wanted in several extortion cases which they demanded in the name of Javed Pathan.”
The police later registered a case (FIR 120/2011) under Sections 324 (attempted murder), 387 (putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the two suspects on a complaint of Mohammad Tariq, the brother of the wounded trader.
A separate FIR (121/2011) was also registered under Section 13-D of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance against the two suspects for keeping illegal weapon. However, the police authorities did not find any reason to register another case for the killing of the suspect, Naveed.
The SP said: “The reaction from the angry mob came as an act of self–defence.”
He recalled that the armed men first left the shopkeeper injured and then fired at the people who tried to catch them.
“The crowd did not use any weapon but the objects, including knives, which were readily available,” he argued, citing their reaction as spontaneous and not planned.