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February 2, 2018

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Sindh minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, wife found shot dead at DHA home

KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Planning and Development Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife, former Sindh Assembly member Fariha Razzak Haroon, were found shot dead at his bungalow in DHA Phase-V here on Thursday.

Clifton Division SP Tauqeer Muhammad Naeem told The News that the police received a call on helpline 15 Madadgaar on Thursday afternoon, and the caller informed it that a man and a woman were seen dead inside the bungalow No36, Khayaban-e-Janbaaz, DHA, Phase-V.

Within a few minutes, a team of the Darakhshan police reached the given address and informed higher-ups that Sindh Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife Fariha Razzak Haroon were found dead in a locked room.

On being informed, a contingent of police and rescue teams reached the residence of Bijrani and broke the lock of the room besides cordoning off the crime scene. Later, the police called forensic experts to collect evidence from the crime scene and started an investigation from Bijarani's servants, who were present in the bungalow at the time of arrival of the police.

The bodies of Bijrani and his wife were transported to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for post-mortem after forensic experts and investigators collected evidence from the crime scene.

Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group (TTIG) chief Raja Umer Khattab told The News that Fariha received a single bullet on her forehead while Bijarani got a bullet on his right temple.

Sharing details of the crime scene, Khattab said the body of Fariha was lying on the floor of the study room, which was connected to their bedroom and Bijarani was seen lying on a nearby sofa.

He said a 30-bore pistol was found near the right foot of Bijarani and the examination of the weapon has established that four bullets were fired from it. Khattab said a police guard was present at the bungalow of Bijarani and according to him, he heard gunshots from their bedroom at around 6:30am following loud voices indicating a heated argument.

He said the guard told him that there was no servant present at the time of the firing and when the servants arrived in the morning, the guard told them about the noises, including the gunshots that he heard from the bedroom.

Khattab said Bijarani’s servants told him that when they went inside the bungalow and tried to open Bijarani’s bedroom, they found it locked from inside. He added that the servants told him that when they looked into Bijarani’s bedroom through an adjacent room’s window, they saw Bijarani and his wife lying dead in their study room.

Khattab said the medico-legal examiner at the JPMC told him that the bullet on Bijarani’s temple was fired from the right hand. He told him further that the gunpowder was also seen on the right hand and the head of Bijarani that suggested that he had committed suicide after shooting his wife.

The bodies of Bijarani and his wife were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for medico-legal examination when forensic experts concluded evidence collection from the crime scene.

JPMC Additional Police Surgeon Dr Sheeraz Ahmed told The News that a board of medico-legal examiners have performed autopsy on the bodies of Bijarani and his wife. “As per medico-legal examiners' report, Bijarani got a single bullet on his temple while his wife got three bullets; one on her forehead and two in her abdomen,” Ahmed said.

He added that the gunpowder was seen on the hand and head of Bijarani, and said medico-legal examiners would hold a meeting with officials investigating the murder to share with them their findings.

A high-ranking official of the Karachi Police, who wished not to be named due to restriction imposed by the Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khowaja not to comment on this issue, said the driver of Fariha arrived at her bungalow to pick her as she was supposed to attend a meeting somewhere.

He said the driver called Fariha, and when her cellphone remained unattended, he called Bijarani's son, and informed him that Fariha had told him to come at 10:00am, but she was not attending his calls.

He added Bijarani’s son was the first man who entered the bungalow, and unlocked the room by himself. The official said the medico-legal examination and inspection of the crime scene had confirmed that Bijarani shot himself dead after killing his wife.

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Industries and Commerce Manzoor Hussain Wassan has ruled out the possibility that his deceased cabinet colleague Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani could commit suicide.

“Once upon a time, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani spent time with me in jail. As far as I knew, he was not such kind of a person who could commit suicide. He was not of such temperament that he could take his own life,” said the Sindh industries minister while talking to newsmen outside the Bijarani House in DHA.

“Just yesterday, Bijarani Sahib was with us in the meeting of Sindh cabinet. In the cabinet meeting, Bijarani Sahib was a having a lighter moment with us. He was definitely not such kind of a person who could commit suicide,” said the provincial minister.

The provincial minister said that police were investigating the incident and soon the truth would come out. Wassan said that he had known Bijarani for the last 40 years. He said that entire PPP and its cadres were saddened due to the sudden demise of Bijarani.

It should be recalled here that Wassan and Bijarani were the two provincial ministers who both expressed reservations on the proposed anti-dowry bill discussed in the Wednesday's meeting of Sindh cabinet. Owing to the objections raised by Sindh chief ministers and two provincial ministers over the proposed anti-dowry bill, the bill was referred to a select committee for further review.

Later on Wednesday, Bijarani, being the planning and development minister, also chaired a meeting of a special committee to review and propose the method to verify the results of five per cent census blocks in the province through the process of third-party validation in order to remove reservations and doubts over the recently-concluded 6th population census in the country. The meeting of the special committee was held in the light of decisions of Council of Common Interests.

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