Wednesday April 17, 2024

AIG Rai Tahir: From first fake encounter to Sahiwal encounter

By Imdad Soomro
January 23, 2019

KARACHI: The brutal killing of a family in Sahiwal by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel for their alleged links with terrorists has refreshed the gruesome killing of PPP (SB) leader Mir Murtaza Bhutto and his colleagues in Karachi in a specious police encounter led by the then ASP Rai Tahir around 22 years ago.

Mir Murtaza Bhutto, Ashiq Hussain Jatoi, Sajjad Haider Ghagro, Wajahat Hussain Jokhio, Abdus Sattar Rajpar, Yar Mohammed Baloch, Abdul Rahim Brohi and Bachal Ujjan were killed when a police party opened fire on Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s entourage near 70 Clifton on September 20, 1996.

Four other party workers, including Dr Mazhar Memon, Asghar Ali, Mohammed Ayaz Dayo and Mohammed Ismail, had sustained injuries.

It was the first encounter of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rai Tahir of Sindh Police, who was later posted in the Punjab where he became Additional Inspector General and then the CTD Punjab head.

Eighteen police officials, including ASP Rai Tahir, the then deputy inspector general (DIG) Shoaib Suddle, Intelligence Bureau Director General Masood Sharif Khattak, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Wajid Durrani, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shahid Hayat, Napier Station House Officer (SHO) Agha Jamil, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Abdul Basit, Sub Inspector (SI) Shabbir Qaimkhani, Head Constables (HCs) Faisal Hafeez, Raja Hameed, and constables Ghulam Shabbir, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Zakir Mehmood, Zafar Iqbal, Gulzar Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Muslim Shah and Ahmed alleged to be involved in the murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto and his colleagues were acquitted by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge East Aftab Ahmed Khan on December 6, 2009.

It is worth remembering that a total of 23 men were nominated as accused in the case.

Former Sindh chief minister Abdullah Shah, former president Asif Ali Zardari and police officers Shakaib Qureshi, who were also accused in the case, were exonerated in 2008.