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January 7, 2018

Suspected robber injured by mob on Thursday dies


January 7, 2018

An alleged robber who had sustained injuries, along with his accomplice, when a mob subjected them to brutal assault after the victim they had supposedly mugged earlier shot and injured both of them in New Karachi on Thursday, died during treatment on Saturday.

Khawaja Ajmer Nagri Head Moharrir Sarfaraz said the suspect who died on Saturday was admitted in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment, while his accomplice had succumbed to his injuries on Thursday because of excessive bleeding.

He said the suspect who died on Saturday was identified as Suleman, while his accomplice who had breathed his last on Thursday was identified as Asif.

Asif was killed and Suleman severely injured when a mob subjected them to brutal assault on Thursday after the victim they had allegedly mugged earlier shot and injured both of them in New Karachi. Incidentally, the police declared the assault as an encounter in the FIRs.

Aijaz Lodhi, the SHO of Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police station, said the victim Syed Muzammil Hussain was on his way home with his sister when four men intercepted their motorbike near the Major Shabbir Sharif Park in Sector 5-4/C in New Karachi.

According to the SHO, the muggers held the siblings hostage at gunpoint and took away his mobile phone and the sister’s purse, but when they were riding away, Hussain opened fire at them.

Two of the robbers were hit by bullets while their accomplices managed to flee in an exchange of gunfire with the mugging victim. Following this, a mob gathered at the site and began beating up the injured robbers, but the police reached there and shifted them to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Lodhi said.

He added that one of them died on the way because of excessive bleeding while the other was moved to a private hospital in critical condition. Later that night, Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police registered three FIRs – 9/18, 10/18 and 11/18 – on the complaint of Hussain, the mugging victim.

However, according to Sarfaraz of the Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police station, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act had been included in the cases. Quoting the text of the FIRs, the official said the victim had stated that two armed men had held him and his sister hostage and taken away their valuables.

However, contrary to the SHO’s statement, Sarfaraz claimed to The News that a police party had reached there, killed one of them and arrested the other after a brief encounter.

When The News reached out to West Zone Deputy Inspector General of Police DIGP Zulfiqar Ali Larik to ascertain why the police had declared a case of mob justice as a police encounter, he said that since he was looking after 40 police stations in his zone, he could not comment on an FIR registered in any one of those stations.

He, however, said that the District Central SSP could provide more details. The SSP, Irfan Baloch, told this scribe the incident was dubbed an encounter because the victim had escaped after shooting the muggers.

Police located him after an hours-long search and still he was not willing to register a case fearing several court hearings. “Secondly, the victim told police that he was frightened that if he starts legal proceedings against the injured suspect, his companions or relatives may trace him down and kill him for revenge,” Baloch said.

The SSP confirmed that the police had declared the mob lynching as a police encounter in the FIRs to save the mugging victim from any harm in the future.

This was the first incident of a mob beating up suspected robbers in the new year. In 2017 five suspected robbers were killed and another was injured when they were caught red-handed looting citizens.

In May last year a robber was beaten to death and another suspect severely injured by a mob when they were trying to rob a milk shop owner in Orangi Town No 1.

The same month, an alleged robber succumbed to his injuries after he was caught and beaten up by a mob as he was looting a rickshaw driver in Orangi Town No 5.

In February 2017 two robbers were beaten to death in Landhi No 6 when they were trying to escape after injuring two family members over resisting a robbery attempt.

Last January a robber was burnt to death by vigilantes when he was caught looting a milk shop on Ghaus Pak Road in Korangi No 4.