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December 27, 2018

Investigators claim they have a lead in Abidi’s killing

Karachi

December 27, 2018

Authorities investigating the targeted killing of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Ali Raza Abidi claimed on Wednesday to have found a lead in the case as it has been discovered that one of the weapons used in the murder of Abidi was earlier used in the killing of a trader in Liaquatabad.

Abidi, who also served as an MNA, was shot dead on Tuesday by armed men on a motorcycle when he alighted from his car after arriving at his house on Khayaban-e-Ghazi in Defence Housing Authority.

The slain former MNA had contested the recent general elections on the MQM-P’s ticket. However, a few months later, he was disgruntled with the party and left it.

Abidi was laid to rest in the Defence area on Wednesday. The funeral prayers for the deceased were offered at Yasrab Imambargah in DHA which were attended by large number of political party leaders and sympathisers. The slain former MNA was buried at DHA graveyard.

A team under South Range DIG Jawed Alam Odho was formed by Sindh Inspector General of Sindh Dr Kaleem Imam to investigate Abidi’s killing. Another team of the Counter-Terrorism Department was also formed to inquire into the former MNA’s murder. An FIR of the murder was registered at the Gizri police station on a complaint of the deceased former MNA’s father Ikhlaq Abidi under the Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The local police of District South, which collected evidence and relevant CCTV footage, have also detained a security guard, Qadeer, who was serving at Abidi’s residence.

In his statement before the police, the guard claimed that he started performing duties at the gate of Abidi’s residence a month ago. I was on duty on Tuesday night when Abidi arrived at his house in his vehicle, Qadeer said.

The guard maintained that as he opened the gate for Abidi’s car, he held his weapon in his other hand. It was during the opening of the gate that he heard gunfire. He claimed that he tried to chamber his gun as soon as he heard firing but initially failed to do so. After a few moments, when he came outside after having succeeded in chambering the gun, the killers had fled, the guard said.

Meanwhile, DIG Odho said five spent bullet shells had been seized from the crime scene and sent to the forensic division. The South Range DIG also talked to Abidi’s father.

The officer added that the investigators had got some very effective leads in the case and they were also trying to decode Abidi’s Iphone in order to find whether the deceased former MQM-P leader was receiving any threats from any group and other clues. According to DIG Odho, the investigators were confident that they would arrest the criminals involved in the killing.

Talking to The News, CTD Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group chief Raja Umer Khattab revealed a major lead found in the case. Khattab claimed that the target killer who attacked Abidi was a sharp shooter and he carried two 30 bore pistols, including one in silver colour. According to the CTD officer, the killer fired six bullets from one of the weapons and a single bullet from the other.

The casings of the spent bullets had been sent to the forensic division for examination, Khattab said, adding that the division has submitted its report confirming that one of the pistols used in Abidi’s killing had earlier been used in a murder incident in the Liaquatabad area.

A resident of Liaquatabad, Ehtasham, who operated stalls at bazaars, was shot dead with the same weapon on December 10 this year, Khattab said. He added that Ehtasham’s family had alleged that a local resident, Irfan, was involved in the killing.

The CTD officer said Irfan had links with workers of a political party that had significant influence in Karachi politics and he might have used his links to kill Ehtasham. The investigators have carried out raids to arrest Irfan but he is still at large, Khattab explained.

Since the same weapon was used in both the killings of Ehtasham and Abidi, the investigators are also focusing on the former’s killing in order to get some lead in Abidi’s killing, Khattab said, adding that it is, however, too early to establish any connection between both the killings. The CTD officer maintained that it was also too early to say that some militant group was involved in the killing of Abidi.

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