Karachi: Ex-driver arrested for killing 5 of a family
KARACHI: Police on Tuesday claimed to have solved the mystery of the murder of five members of a family in the Askari III housing scheme and arrested a lone killer, who insisted that his original intention was to merely rob the house.
Five members of a family — Arif Yousaf, 68, his wife Zainab Bibi, 60, their son Zubair Arif, 30, and his wife Aliya, 30, and their 14–year–old daughter, Rida — were found stabbed to death in their Askari III residence within the remit of the Saddar police station on Feb 29.
Crimes Branch SSP Farooq Awan said the police took into custody Muhammad Ishaq, 32, a former driver of the family, who sneaked into the house to rob it but had also taken along a knife in case he faced a challenge there.
Ruling out a personal grudge against the family, the SSP told Dawn that Ishaq had worked for the family as a driver for about six months before he quit the job. He hails from Vehari, southern Punjab.
He said that a day before the incident, Ishaq went to Bohri Bazaar and bought a knife for Rs150.
Narrating the details as disclosed by the suspect, the SSP said he was aware of Zubair’s routine who used to return home late at night, often under the influence of alcohol.
The suspect scaled the house’s outer wall and managed to open the front door. He found Zubair sleeping in the lounge in a resting chair.
As the suspect looked for valuables, the television remote control fell off Zubair’s hand to the ground, causing his father, Arif, to wake up.
Arif came to the lounge and asked Zubair to sleep on a sofa instead. Zubair’s mother also came to the lounge and noticed that the front door was open. She told her husband that the door was closed when they had gone to bed.
The suspect told the police that he hid behind the open door. Approaching the door, Zubair’s mother screamed as she saw the suspect. He lost no time in stabbing the woman and also attacked her husband before he could do anything.
Hearing the commotion, the couple’s daughter-in-law, Aliya, came downstairs believing that Zubair, in a drunken stupor, was quarrelling with his parents.
The suspect overpowered her and stabbed her. He also attacked her husband, Zubair, when he tried to rise to his feet.
Fourteen–year–old Rida woke up in the meanwhile and, seeing a scene of carnage downstairs, tried to run back. The suspect chased her and stabbed her to death on the first floor in her room.
SSP Awan said that after killing five persons, the suspect collected four cellphones, a jewellery set and Rs7,500 from the house.
He took off his blood-soaked shirt and put on Zubair’s, placed the knife in his own shirt and left the house.
“Two days after the killings, Ishaq inserted his own SIM card in Arif’s cellphone and turned it on. The activation of the cellphone set led to the identification of the suspect,” said the SSP, adding that subsequently he was picked up by the police at the Cantt Station. During interrogation he confessed to having committed the crime and divulged the details.
He said the suspect led the police to a place near the Clifton beach, where he had dumped his shirt and the knife. The police seized the murder weapon and also the valuables, which the suspect had kept with a man telling him that he had won them in a gamble.