Investigators looking for removed Clifton SP to record his statement in custodial murder case

By Faraz Khan
April 19, 2024
Sindh Police personnel can be seen passing on a police vehicle in Karachi. — AFP/File

Clues pointing towards the involvement of Clifton SP Nayyer Ali in the custodial death of a suspect at the Darakhshan police station emerged on Thursday. However, despite being removed from the post following the incident, the Clifton SP has been neither detained nor nominated in the FIR. According to reports, SP Ali's mobile phones are being switched off, and he is not present at his residence while the police investigators are looking for him to record his statement.


There have been reports that after bringing the suspect to the police station, SP Ali’s team took him to an undisclosed location and subjected him to torture, resulting in his death. However, when contacted regarding this matter, West DIG Irfan Ali Baloch, who has been appointed as the inquiry officer of the case by the Karachi additional IG, neither confirmed nor denied the Clifton SP's involvement in the custodial death. Instead, he stated that the inquiry was ongoing.

The West DIG told The News that nothing could be said conclusively until the inquiry was complete. “We need to interrogate more people, and only after that can we draw conclusions and finalise the report,” he explained.

DIG Baloch also mentioned that he did not have the authority to make arrests. He stated that he had been tasked with submitting an inquiry report, and if the report confirmed the SP's involvement, senior police officials would issue directives accordingly.

The recent custodial death is the second major incident having Zone South’s senior police officials implicated in a crime within the past few months. Prior to this, in a house robbery case, some police officials from South Zone, including under-training DSP Umair Bajari, were arrested, while District South SSP Imran Qureshi was removed from his post.

Even in that case, there were indications of SSP Qureshi's involvement, but he was only removed from his position. Additionally, neither was any FIR filed against him nor any arrest made.

This gives the impression that in such incidents, senior officials are somehow protected while the entire blame is shifted onto juniors.

Sources close to the matter informed The News that the police officials arrested in the custodial death case have distanced themselves from the case and levied allegations against SP Ali, stating that he played a key role in the torture of the suspect.

It is being said that the suspect was not tortured in the lock-up of the police station, but was taken to another location for torture by the squad of SP Ali, and when he died, his body was brought back in a vehicle to the police station.

In the light of the statements made by the arrested police officers, police investigators are not only checking the CCTV footage inside and outside the police station but also recording statements of all police personnel present at the station. Additionally, they are investigating the ambulance driver, hospital staff and CCTV cameras outside the hospital to determine how the body was transported to the hospital.

The investigators are also examining whether this incident was a case of extortion leading to the arrest of the suspect, or if there was any collusion between the deceased suspect and the complainant, Abdul Basit. This is because Basit stated in the FIR that after receiving threats, he had called the suspect to his home to give him extortion money, which is not the usual mode of extortion.

Investigators are scrutinising the complainant’s statements, interrogating him and cross-checking them to ensure that the police did not inadvertently become involved in manipulating the situation to wrongfully benefit one party over the other.

Additionally, alongside confirming through the post-mortem examination that the suspect's death occurred due to torture, police investigators are also trying to ascertain the manner in which the victim was tortured. So far the evidence suggests that the suspect was subjected to severe torture, resulting in intense bleeding and extensive damage to his intestines.

It is pertinent to mention here that a murder case was registered against the station house officer (SHO) and head muharrir (clerk) of the Darakhshan police station, and the Clifton SP was removed from his post over the custodial death of a suspect allegedly involved in an extortion case.

The case was registered on behalf of the state under the sections of murder and illegal confinement against SHO Ali Raza Leghari and Head Muharrir Mufassil Ahmed Leghari.

The suspect, Moiz Naseem, was arrested in the extortion case by the Darakhshan police on April 14. According to the complainant, Naseem made extortion calls to him, then sent a man to his home in Sea View to collect the money. Basit said he had already paid almost Rs1.6 million to him when on April 14, he called Naseem to his house and got him arrested by the police.

The suspect was said to have died under mysterious circumstances in the lock-up of the police station on the night of April 15. Later, Karachi police chief Imran Yaqoob Minhas took notice of the incident and formed an inquiry team to investigate the matter. According to his initial autopsy report, multiple injuries were found all over the suspect’s body and his death was not due to natural causes.