Hyderabad: Neurosurgeon Qureshi killed by kidnapper during rescue bid
HYDERABAD: Dr Aftab Qureshi, a senior faculty member of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences and eminent neurosurgeon, was gunned down allegedly by his kidnapper on Wednesday morning during an encounter which followed an attempt by a joint team of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and Anti–Violent Crime Unit (AVCU) of Karachi police to rescue the surgeon and other hostages. The rescue operation supervised by CPLC chief Ahmed Chennai and SP Noorul Haq Rind and the encounter also resulted in the death of a kidnapper and an ASI.
The reported encounter prompted Hyderabad DIG Sanaullah Abbasi to order an SSP to submit an application to the sessions judge for a judicial inquiry.
According to Mr Chennai, two other hostages, Dr Ashok and his mother Kamla, managed to escape from the house in Qasimabad taking advantage of heavy firing. He said they had been kidnapped from Dr Ashok’s clinic-cum-residence in Karachi’s Memon Goth.
Hyderabad police officials were verifying Dr Ashok’s statement given at the CIA centre and were not sure whether he was a suspect or hostage, as claimed by him, given the fact that he was moving freely in the house.
The bodies were taken to Civil Hospital’s mortuary. The body of ASI Rashid Khan was flown from Karachi to Mansehra, his hometown.
The kidnapper killed in the encounter was identified as Mohammad Akhtar of Usta Mohammad.
The body of Dr Qureshi was handed over to his heirs. He had been kept in chains which were cut before the body was sent to Kandiaro, his hometown. He was shot in the forehead, but an autopsy was not conducted.
Khurram Soomro, a neighbour, told Dawn that he used to see a man who appeared to be a Hindu sitting outside the house.
“He was in early 30s and I came across him over the past fortnight.”
“When our ASI entered the premises he was fired upon at point-blank range by the kidnappers. He received multiple bullet injuries and was taken to hospital where he died,” a policeman said. Another policeman, Jaffar Abbas, was injured.
A Kalashnikov and several bullets were seized.
On the other hand, Hyderabad police sources said: “The kidnapper was, in fact, gunned down by a policeman of Nasim Nagar police station, Shabbir Ahmed Khoso.” When firing was reported, a Bhittai Nagar police vehicle patrolling the area reached the place. Then Bhittai Nagar SHO Mohammad Ali Shah and Nasim Nagar police also arrived.
The kidnapper was shot dead by Mr Khoso when he came out of the house and tried to run away.
“Dr Qureshi was gunned down by the drunk captor,” the CPLC chief quoted Dr Ashok as saying.
He said he had informed the SSP and DIG of Hyderabad to seek police force and that’s why Qasimabad police were there.
Mr Chennai said Dr Ashok had told him that the kidnapper would have killed him and his mother because he was drunk and was hurling abuses.
He said three persons used to be in the house but only one was there when it was raided.
According to him, the kidnappers had last contacted Dr Qureshi’s son on Monday for ransom.