Karachi unable to shake off deadly trend of targeted killings
KARACHI: For Karachiites “targeted killings” are pretty much a familiar term. People of this city have witnessed thousands of bullet-riddled, blood-stained bodies since the last two or three decades.
There are a number of motives behind these fatal incidents. These include political rivalry, sectarian divide, personal enmity, family feuds and business rivalries etc.
Though the law-enforcement agencies do not compile comprehensive data of targeted killing incidents, according to Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) at least 335 people were killed in terrorism, targeted attacks and family feuds in the city from January 2021 to August 2021.
Senior crime reporter Rao Imran, who has been covering crime incidents since the last three decades, said “The word target killing was first coined by the then inspector general of police of Kamal Shah to describe such incidents in [a] single word ‘target killings’. However, these incidents have different meaning and motives and do not fall under the same [category].
“There are at least three types of target killers such as paid killers who kill people for money and the one who kills anyone over family feuds does not fall in the category of target killers,” he added.
He further said that those who kill someone over political disputes or sectarian conflict fall under the category of target killer.
Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in-charge Raja Umar Khattab while talking to Bol News said that the pattern of crime in Karachi had changed as there was a sharp decline in politically motivated or sectarian killing incidents.
He said, “Different mafias are involved in creating law and order situation with the connivance of some black sheep in the law enforcement agencies.”
Referring to change in the pattern of crime he claimed, “A senior cop and station house officer of PIB police station killed a police informer by taking head money from the mafia.” The case was very interesting for CTD as the victim, Fazl Ur Rehman, had helped law enforcement agencies seize millions of rupees [worth of] betel nuts, he added.
He said that later betel nut smugglers held a jirga (unofficial court) somewhere in Karachi and unanimously concluded that Fazl should be killed as he helped law enforcement agencies.
Giving the details of the story he said, “They hired [a] most influential police officer to accomplish the task with the help of fake lady police constable who called Fazl and informed Haroon Korai about [his] whereabouts.” Fazl was killed in cold blood near Steel Town by the suspect with his official sub-machine gun.
He further pointed out that CTD resolved the case when they found a toll tax slip from the pocket of the deceased.
“We recovered the footages of toll plaza and then identified the deceased and [the] police inspector … later confessed [to] the crime,” he said.
Further commenting on changing pattern of crime he said “Police constable Amjad shot and killed constable Waheed and his relative Naeem. Both were critically wounded and died shortly after the incident, while the suspect escaped after shooting the victims.”
He pointed out that the CCTV camera footage of the incident proved that the assailant, who fled after the swift attack, was also a policeman as well as the CIA cop’s brother-in-law. The deceased policeman was identified as Waheed Gul, 45, and his relative as Naeem Shah, 42. They were first taken to a private hospital and then to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), he added.
He said that Gul was posted at the CIA Centre in Saddar, while Amjad was said to be previously posted at the Special Security Unit and the CIA. He was currently posted at the Anti-Street Crime Squad in Jamshed Quarters, from where he had been absent for around a month, he added.
Giving details of another incident he said that on Aug 15, unknown assailants killed 12 members of a family including young boys and women in a grenade attack on a mini-truck on the outskirts of the city. Initially police claimed that it was a sectarian incident, as it happened just before the night of the central Ashura procession. However, after the investigation, it emerged that the motives behind the fatal incident were family disputes as the family hailed from Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
DIG Khattab claimed that the truck was returning from a wedding ceremony when the attack happened and assailants settled their family disputes in Karachi.
“Now we are experiencing killing over family disputes or business rivalries, the targeted incidents like MQM, ANP, Lyari gang war or Sunni killing Shias and Shias killing Sunnis were stories of the past,” he concluded.
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