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July 14, 2020

Three Customs officials booked for ‘injuring passer-by in shootout with smugglers’

Karachi

July 14, 2020

Police on Monday registered a case against officials of the Pakistan Customs on behalf of a citizen whose son was injured during an alleged shootout between customs officials and smugglers in Karachi’s Surjani Town on Sunday.

The FIR has been registered at the Surjani Town police station on behalf of Mir Muhammad, the father of the injured citizen, Murad Ali.

The complainant, who sells wood to earn a living, said his son had been going home on a motorcycle from his workplace when he was shot and injured by the firing of Customs officials.

He claimed that a white car in the back of a land cruiser was there, and the men sitting in that car were resorted to indiscriminate fire, injuring his son. He said a crowd of people who had gathered at the scene told him that his son was injured by the firing of Customs personnel.

He named Customs personnel as Ali Zaib, Saad Burhanuddin and Mahar Ali. He also named two other people in the FIR -- Saddam Hussain and Iftikhar Khan. Police said that they had detained the three Customs personnel.

A passer-by was injured on Sunday as personnel of the Anti-Smuggling Organisation (ASO) of the Pakistan Customs engaged in a shootout with alleged criminals in Surjani Town.

After the incident, police detained the Customs personnel and an inquiry committee was formed to ascertain the facts. SM Irfan Ali of the Pakistan Customs said that acting upon credible information regarding the smuggling of contraband goods, personnel of the ASO on duty at the Hamdard checkpoint signalled a Toyota Revo vehicle to stop at around 8am on Sunday.

He added that the vehicle, which was being covered by two other vehicles, did not stop and sped up. Subsequently, the ASO personnel started to chase it and after covering a distance of about five kilometres, the suspects opened fire on the Customs team near Naik Muhammad Goth in Surjani Town, in which a passer-by, 24-year-old Murad Ali, was hit by a bullet in his abdomen and was rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

He maintained that as per preliminary information, the assailants belonged to the Asif Sanjlani gang, who had also in the past resorted to firing at Customs officials and cases against individuals belonging to the gang had been registered.

According to Ali, the Customs personnel called the local police for help after the incident, but the police did not reach there on time. However, the Madadgar-15 police arrived to help the Customs officials.

He said that despite the fact that all what the ASO personnel did was chase the fleeing suspects, the police still detained the three officials of the ASO.

Collector Model Customs Collectorate Karachi Saqif Saeed took notice of the incident and constituted a committee headed by Additional Collector of Customs Haroon Malik to look into the incident. The committee will ascertain the facts and submit report by Tuesday 11am.