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Saturday May 18, 2024

Female suspect remanded in TikTokers’ murder case

By Faraz Khan & Zubair Ashraf
February 19, 2021

A judicial magistrate on Thursday remanded a female suspect in police custody in a case pertaining to the murder of four TikTokers who were targeted in a drive-by shooting in the Garden area earlier in February.

The slain TikTokers — Muskan Sheikh, Amir Khan, Rehan Shah and Saddam Hussain — were killed as unidentified armed men attacked their car near the Anklesaria Hospital in the wee hours on February 1.

The District South magistrate sent the suspect, identified as Sawera, who is also said to be a TikToker, on physical remand till February 20 and sought a progress report from the investigation officer on the next hearing.

Sawera was taken into custody after the call data record (CDR) and location suggested her involvement in the murders, said South DIG Javed Akbar Riaz while speaking to The News. “She had been in contact with the main suspect, Rehman Ali, another TikToker, in proximity of the incident,” the officer added.

“Ali is yet to be arrested and the investigation team is making efforts to trace his whereabouts.” The DIG said that a number of people who were in contact with the victims and the suspects had been interrogated but a major breakthrough was yet to be made.

So far, the motive behind the killings has not been ascertained for lack of evidence. A source privy to the matter said the reason behind the killings could be a dispute between Muskan and Ali.

“An aspect of the investigation is that some tension had been developing between Muskan and Ali after their breakup, both made new friends,” the source said, adding that Muskan befriended Khan while Ali developed friendship with Sawera. According to the source, Ali and Muskan were not on speaking terms and a verbal spat could have made things worse.

Hussain’s brother Idris Afridi, who is the complainant in the case, also suspects the involvement of Ali and other suspects, whose identities have been withheld, in the murders. He said that he could make this opinion on the basis of evidence police shared with him.

“The synchronisation of the CDR and CCTV footage suggests that these suspects killed my brother and his friends. However, there may be other dimensions since we also have an enmity from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.”

Afridi demanded that a joint investigation team be made to probe the case because at the local level, police might not have the technical resources needed for investigations. “Currently, the whole focus is on the enmity between the suspects and the victims. Maybe the real perpetrator could be someone else, maybe they had hired hitmen to carry out the

assassination,” the complainant said.

The investigators have also found both the suspects and victims having criminal record. To a question about his brother’s political affiliations, Afridi said Hussain was a political worker associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.