Islamabad: Police make murder case a mystery
ISLAMABAD: The details of the murder of a man in the wee hours of August 24, 2012, remain shrouded in mystery. So far two FIRs have been registered, one by the police and the other by his relatives, each giving a contradictory narration of events. There are also rumours of an extra-judicial murder and an attempt to cover up the case, strengthened by the way the police had acted following the incident. While a station house officer involved in the incident has been removed from his post, the police department is staying quiet on the developments and just about everyone is feigning ignorance. On August 24, Qasim Abbasi had left his home at 11pm with two friends, Munir and Zia, to sit in front of a shop near his house in Dhoke Kala Khan. Qasim was accused of robbery and murder, and had spent 13 months in jail. He had been released on bail six months ago. His friend, Zia, was a convicted criminal who had served a seven-year sentence for his involvement in a murder. The three sat at the shop, left and were seen there again at 1.30am.
At 3.30am, Qasim received a call from his mother asking for his whereabouts. He told her he was on his way home, and would arrive in 10 minutes.
But at 3.40am, his family received a call from Qasim, informing them that he had suffered gunshot wounds and was lying at Pindorian Road near Expressway.
His parents, Mr and Mrs Saghir Ahmed Abbasi, rushed to the spot.
His father in the FIR lodged the next day, August 25, claimed that the police also arrived at the spot and delayed his transfer to the hospital. By the time he was shifted, he had bled excessively and died.
Interestingly, the police registered another FIR on August 25 in which they claimed that the Shahzad Town police had engaged in an encounter in the area at 3:24am.
The police stated that the SHO along with his staff was present at Zia Masjid where they spotted three people riding a motorcycle.
On suspicion, they signalled them to stop, but the riders shot at the police. In retaliation, the police fired back.
One of the motorcycle riders suffered bullet injuries and fell on the ground, but the others managed to pull him up as they sped toward Barqi petrol pump.
It is pertinent to mention that the petrol pump was in the direction of the spot where Qasim was found injured by his parents.
The Shahzad Town police told the media that the ‘assailant’ was wanted by the Industrial Area police in connection with two different cases, including murder attempt and robbery.
Sources within the police allege that both the FIRs are about the same incident but the police have registered two separate cases.
It may be mentioned that according to the FIRs, the two incidents took place 14 minutes apart within a kilometre of each other.
For police insiders, it is impossible that the police team engaged in the encounter with the three riders of the motorcycle and immediately left the spot, and yet failed to hear the gunshots wounds which claimed Qasim’s life.
They further point out that the policemen on patrol made no mention of chasing the three suspects.
In any case, the sources add that when the police high-ups found out about the incidents, they were unhappy and removed Station House Officer of Shahzad Town police station.
But for the public at large, the police officers remain silent about the case.
When Dawn contacted the SHO, he replied: “I forgot about the two incidents and their detail, and hence forgot to mention it to my seniors. There was no foul play.”
Meanwhile, when Dawn contacted the investigation officer of the case ASI Mohammad Farooq, he denied he was investigating the case even though his name is mentioned in official documents.
Another senior officer when asked for his opinion on the case said that the SHO had been removed for something he did but he could not remember what it was.
Despite repeated attempts SSP Yasin Farooq was not available for his comments, and his official mobile went unattended.