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October 10, 2019

Ragpicker-turned-mugger arrested over medical student’s murder


October 10, 2019

In less than a week, the police claimed to have solved the murder case of Misbah Athar, a third-year student of the Hamdard University who was shot dead during a mugging bid on October 3, by arresting a ragpicker of Afghan origin who had turned into a street thug.

A special police team was constituted on the directives of East Zone DIG Amir Farooqui to inquire into the killing of the medical student. The team, which comprised District East SSP Ghulam Azfar Mahesar, Investigations SP Irfan Zaman, the Gulshan-e-Iqbal SHO and SIO, arrested the suspect for his alleged involvement in the killing.

The suspect was identified as Muhammad Nabi Afghani, who is of Afghan origin and a ragpicker by profession. The police also claimed to have impounded the motorcycle that was used in the crime.

SSP Mahesar disclosed his arrest during a press conference at his office on Wednesday afternoon. According to the SSP, the suspect had confessed to his crime and told the police that he had killed the student during a mugging bid along with his accomplice, Qari Bashir.

“Till last year, he used to pick or collect [useful items from] garbage on the streets of Karachi but after that he started crimes by first stealing the batteries of cars and then committing street crime,” the officer explained.

The arrested suspect also allegedly confessed to his involvement in various cases of street crime in the limits of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Mobina Town, Sharea Faisal, Bahadurabad, Aziz Bhatti, Sacchal and SITE Superhighway police stations.

The Additional IG Karachi and the East DIG praised the police team that arrested the suspect and also announced a cash reward for them. The victim was a third-year student of the Hamdard University. She was gunned down in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area on October 3 in a mugging bid that took place a few metres away from her house in Abid Town.

According to the victim’s uncle Kashif Ahmed, for the past three years his brother Athar Ahmed used to drive his 24-year-old daughter to a bus stop near Mochi Morr, from where she used to get a bus for the varsity.

“They were sitting in the car this morning waiting for the bus when two men riding a motorcycle came close to the driver’s seat and one of them snatched Athar’s mobile phone,” said Kashif.

One of the suspects later fired a single shot that hit Misbah in the head near her eye, critically wounding her. She was immediately taken to a nearby private hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival. Her body was then taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.

“After snatching the mobile phone, one of the robbers fired a single shot and they escaped,” said then Gulshan-e-Iqbal SHO Safdar Mashwani, who was transferred to the Al-Falah police station a few hours after the incident.

Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had taken notice of the murder and ordered the relevant police officials to immediately trace the suspects and arrest them. He had also sought a detailed report on the incident.

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