Karachi: 4 ‘target killers’ arrested
KARACHI: Police claimed to have arrested four suspects on Friday for their alleged involvement in 30 cases of target killing and extortion. SSP South Asif Aijaz said that in a raid conducted by the special task force team, they apprehended the suspects from old city areas, basically from Kharadar, wanted in 30 cases of target killing and extorting money from traders. Police also recovered three 7mm pistols and four hand grenades from their possession.
They were identified as Saeed Pathan, Mohammad Shahid, Iqbal alias Gul Khan and Mohammad alias Baba, all in their early 20s. Baba heads a gang in Kharadar and he belongs to Arshad Pappu gang of Lyari.
Baba gang usually demands Rs5,000 to Rs8,000 per month from traders and shopkeepers in Kharadar and anyone who refuses to pay is either harrowed until they give in or shot dead.
SSP Aijaz said he had been frequently receiving information regarding extortion in the area but could not nab the criminals as no trader was willing to speak up.
“Many a times we went to Kharadar and asked shopkeepers to give us names or at least identify the men. But nobody was willing to come up. Fear was such that the people prefer paying the extortion than naming anyone,” he said.
He urged the people to come up with the names of the extorters otherwise it would get increasingly difficult to arrest such people.
“I know it is difficult when your life is at stake but so is ours. We have the option to keep names of traders anonymous, but trusting the police force is a bigger issue here,” he added.
When asked to specify which areas are most affected by extortion mafia, SSP Aijaz said: “It is a mixed bag as the police receive information from every area in the south region”.
At the same time, he said that some people used to “make up stories” about being harrowed by extorters at times to get police protection which, he said, was fine but it “also wastes time”.
Shopkeepers in Kharadar said that a month ago they witnessed the killing of a shopkeeper and developed fear for their lives.