Karachi: 4 robbers held after shootout in Gizri
KARACHI: Gizri police arrested four alleged criminals on Tuesday, minutes after they snatched a motorbike from a man. Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Zameer Abbasi said there were five robbers in all, but one of them ran away. “They were busy robbing a man and had just snatched his motorbike when one of our patrolling police mobile saw them,” Abbasi said. The men, all aged between 25 and 30 years, were in a white 2007 model Toyota Corolla (APN–069). Three were in the car and two were on the motorbike they had just stolen.
The incident took place in Gizri, near Bait ul Islam Mosque, Phase IV, early in the morning. As soon as the men saw a police mobile coming close they opened fire. The police fired in return.
The firing burst a tyre of the car after which three of the robbers came out and ran towards a bus.
As people from the nearby homes gathered and witnessed in shock, two of the robbers, later identified as Marwell and Faisal, got injured from the firing and were taken away to a nearby hospital, while the police chased the remaining three.
“We got hold of two of them, Babar and Sohail. Riyasat, who, we are told was driving the car, ran away,” Abbasi said.
Gizri SHO Asif Jamil Qureshi said the men were involved in robbing houses, snatching cash from people coming out of banks and ATMs in Phase IV and V, and that women were their prime target.
He said, “Defence Phase IV, V and VI remain the worst-affected areas in terms of cell phone and car snatching. This is just one of the gangs that we have arrested. We are still on a lookout for more such robbers.”
Qureshi said two of the robbers belonged to New Karachi while the investigation about others was underway.
An FIR has been registered at the Gizri police station by complainant Younus khan, son of Hashim Khan, whose motorbike had been snatched.
The arrests came two days after a text messaging campaign to alert people to crime in the area was undertaken by the SDPO and the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC). The text message included the complete profile of the robbers, four of them, who roamed around in a white Corolla/Cultus.
The text message was instantly copied as status updates on social networking website Facebook that helped create awareness among many people. Though the police looked at it positively and said it encouraged cooperation from the public, CBC and DHA vigilance officials thinks otherwise.
CBC member and public representative Aziz Suhrawardy said the “police in Defence are subservient to politicians and can be seen guarding houses and cars, to care about other citizens who need them”.
He said that contrary to what the police would want anyone to believe, “it is difficult to even get through a constable in case of trouble”.
By trouble he meant mugging and robbery which he said gradually increased in the area.
Director Vigilance DHA Colonel Amjad remained non-committal in his reply and said that at the moment, “police and Rangers are helping them out in efforts to curb crime in the area”.
SDPO Abbasi, however, believed that there was no trouble in asking people to stay alert. “That’s the least they can do to help us.”