KARACHI: Police arrested four men on Friday allegedly involved in 30 cases of target killings and extortion from Kharadar area of Karachi.
SSP South Asif Aijaz said that a team of special task force conducted the raid and arrested Saeed Pathan, Mohammad Shahid, Iqbal alias Gul Khan and Mohammad alias Baba, all in their early 20s, on the alleged charges of extortion and murder.
The police said that Baba heads the gang, which is connected with the Arshad Pappu group of Lyari. During the raid, the police recovered three 7mm pistols and four hand grenades.
The Baba gang usually asked for Rs5,000 to Rs8,000 per month from each trader and shopkeeper in Kharadar, police said. Anyone refusing to pay got death threats and some times even targeted by the gunmen, the police said.
SSP Aijaz said that he continuously received complaints regarding extortion in the area but could not nab the criminals as traders were not willing to speak.
“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 (because of the fear of life),” he said.
He urged the people to come up with names of the extortionists so that they could be brought to justice.
When asked to specify which areas are most affected by extortion, SSP Aijaz said that it is a “mixed bag” and added that the police receive information from every area in the south region.
Shopkeepers at Kharadar said that a month ago they witnessed the killing of a shopkeeper and fear for their lives more than ever now.