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April 18, 2019

Try cops for murder, not neglect: Ahsan’s family

Karachi

April 18, 2019

The death of a minor boy by police firing on Tuesday took an ugly turn after the family claimed that the policemen involved in the incident opened fire during a brawl among themselves and that there was no robber in sight nearby.

A 19-month-old boy, Ahsan Shaikh, lost his life in a firing incident on University Road near Safoora Chowrangi on Tuesday evening within the limits of the Sacchal police station. A few hours after the incident, police officials claimed that some policemen were chasing criminals in the area on a tip-off and the boy died in crossfire between the police and the robbers.

“My grandson was killed by police firing,” said the victim’s grandfather as he spoke to media persons. “He (Ahsan) was killed as the policemen opened fire during a fight among themselves and there was no robber in sight for miles.”

When the family made the claim that it was an internal fight between the cops that took Ahsan’s life, Additional IG Karachi Dr Amir Shaikh was also present as he had gone to meet the bereaved family. The officer intervened during the family’s talk, asking them not to discuss such points at that time as “the investigations were under way”.

The police also arrested all the four policemen involved in the incident and registered a case against them on behalf of the victim’s father at the Sacchal police station. The police FIR was, however, rejected by the family as it included the sections of attempt to murder and ‘Qatl-e-Khata’; whereas, the family wanted the case to be registered under the section pertaining to murder and the Anti-Terrorism Act.

“The police registered a case as they willed. They just called us at the police station where they took my signature on the FIR which was already filled,” claimed the victim’s father, Kashif Shaikh. “They even did not tell us about the matter written in the FIR. It came into our notice after they forced me to sign the FIR.”

The ill-fated father also blamed the police for hiding the facts. The mother also blamed the police for trying to protect their brethren. She called her son’s killing a clear case of murder. “They (police officials) are hiding the facts as there was no police encounter and no robber. The cops opened straight fire in front of me,” the mother claimed.

Meanwhile, police officials said they had arrested all the four policemen, including Constable Amjad Ali from whose weapon the bullet was fired. The other three arrested cops are Samad, Khalid and Pyaro.

“Amjad had a 9mm pistol at the time of the incident,” SHO Javed Abro said. “We have also seized an empty shell of a pistol and sent it to the forensic division of the Sindh police.”

The SHO explained that ballistics cross-matching report would answer which pistol’s bullet killed the boy. “I am sure that my policeman’s bullet did not hit the boy but the robber’s bullet hit and killed him and it will come out clear in the investigations and forensics report,” he said. “Let’s prepare for breaking news as the investigations will confirm that the robber’s bullet killed the boy.”

He rejected the allegations made by the family and said an exchange of fire had indeed occurred between the police and robbers. “The family is emotional that is why they are levelling such allegations. We are ready to add more sections in the FIR if evidence is gathered in the investigations,” the SHO said.

He added that the police had not obtained any CCTV footage of the incident so far. Ahsan’s post-mortem examination was conducted at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where doctors said the bullet entered Ahsan’s chest from the right side and exited through his back and the same bullet grazed his father and wounded him.

Funeral prayers for the deceased child were offered on Wednesday near his residence in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. A large number of family members, relatives and neighbours attended the funeral. Later, the child was laid to rest at a local graveyard.

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