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Five of a family killed over property dispute

By Our Correspondent
August 08, 2018

LAHORE: A festering property dispute spanning over 11 years resulted in the brutal killings of five members of a family, including three brothers and two teenagers, by their opponents in the Phularwan village in the jurisdiction of Burki police station on Tuesday morning.

Following the incident, the families of the five victims plundered the homes of their opponents, set them ablaze and took away the cattle. They also protested against the police by placing the bodies outside the Punjab Assembly and demanded justice. No case was registered till the filing of this report as the situation was still tense in the village.

According to a senior police officer, Lathia Group and Kothay Wala Group had a land dispute since 2007. The five murdered on Tuesday belonged to the Kothay Wala Group. Four persons, two from each rival group, have been murdered by both the groups and five members of both the groups are in jail for the murders.

On the day of the incident, the Kothay Wala Group left their homes at Phularwan village at 5.a.m on a tractor-trolley to bring fodder for their animals from nearby fields. They were midway when the Lathia Group armed with sophisticated weapons ambushed the victims. They opened indiscriminate firing, leaving all the victims in the pool of blood.

Hearing the deadly gunshots, the villagers rushed to the crime scene and found the bullet-riddled bodies of the five victims. All the victims had died on the spot.

The deceased were identified as Qurban Ali, 50, son of Ghulam Ali, Abdul Rasheed, 45, son of Ghulam Ali, Bashir Ahmad, 32, son of Hakim Ali, Tanveer Ali, 16 and Qadir Ali, 16. Victim Tanveer had recently passed his matriculation examination.

Panic gripped the villagers of the area. The crime scene turned into a mourning procession as a huge number of relatives of victims, including women, started crying. They staged a protest against the brutal murders and demandedarrest of the killers. A heavy contingent of police and rescuers responded to the emergency call and cordoned off the crime scene. Forensic experts collected evidences from the spot and recorded the statements of the eye-witnesses. Police tried to remove the bodies to morgue. However, victims’ heirs took the bodies to The Mall, placed them outside Punjab Assembly and blocked the road to traffic. The DIG Operations Shahzad Akbar Rana and other senior police officers approached the protesters and convinced them to leave the road after assurances of justice. The protesters allowed police to remove the bodies to morgue.

A heartbroken mother of the teenage victim Tanveer told reporters that she has been deprived of her son. He was too young to be gunned down, she said . She said Tanveer had passed his matriculation recently and she was very happy for that. The devastated father of two deceased brothers said among the victims two were his sons, two nephews and one grandson, all of whom lived in the same house.

From The Mall, the protesters went to Zaman Park and staged a sit-in outside the house of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan. They insisted on not leaving the place unless the accused persons were nabbed. The authorities held negotiations with them, after which, they left for their village.

On reaching the village, the victims’ family members turned violent. They attacked the houses of the accused and torched them. The SSP Investigations Awais Malik said they have formed different teams, including one of the CIA, to arrest the accused. He assured stern police action against killers to ensure justice. Most of the villagers alleged that the police neglect towards availability of huge cache of illegal weapons in the village has resulted in the tragedy. They demanded a high level inquiry into why the police did not disarm the villagers. They also suspected the patronage of policemen for the accused group.