KARACHI, March 17: Arshad Pappu, leader of a notorious Lyari gang, was killed with one of his brothers and a confidant in the crime-infested southern neighbourhood of the city, police said on Sunday.
They said the bodies of Pappu, 41, his younger brother, Yasir Arafat, 36, and their confidant Juma Shera, also known as Shera Pathan, 26, were thrown by unidentified killers on the junkyard near Brohi Chowk, a tiny congested locality in the Kalakot area in the small hours of Sunday.
Eyewitnesses said that some residents who spotted the three bodies identified them and informed the police. One of the dead was tall and had a small beard and the other two were of average height with stubble.
“Police teams reached the place and could lay hands on only one body which was later identified as Juma Shera, alias Shera Pathan, and sent it to the Civil Hospital Karachi,” Najam Tareen, Lyari’s superintendent of police, told Dawn.
He said the police could not take the bodies of Arshad Pappu and Yasir Arafat as theirs had already been taken away by unidentified people who, he suspected, were members of the dominant gang in the area.
“We don’t know where the other two bodies are, but I can confirm this on authority that they were of Arshad Pappu and his brother Arafat,” said Mr Tareen.
He suspected the bodies had already been defaced, mutilated and ‘probably burnt’ by rival gangsters.
“Pappu was generally blamed for kidnapping and killing Faiz Mohammad, aka Faizu, a transporter and father of Uzair Jan Baloch who now heads the dominant Lyari gang. It may be difficult to find the bodies of the two siblings,” said another policeman, who was part of several operations carried out against gangsters from time to time.
Eyewitnesses said that soon after the bodies were spotted, some gunmen appeared and took away the two bodies in haste. Policemen were prevented form entering the area until the two bodies were hauled away and only then they were allowed to take away the third body, they said.
A medico-legal officer at the civil hospital, Dr Aftab Channar, said that he did not know that the body shifted by police belonged to Kalakot area.
“It was the body of a man with lean physique and aged 25 to 30 years. We did not find any gunshot wound on the body in the post mortem but it was covered with signs of torture. His chest, arms, legs, the entire torso appeared to have been hammered by blunt objects. His head too had similar torture marks,” said Dr Channar.
He said that despite severe torture, there were fewer blood stains on the body. “His limbs, however, were severely damaged because of beatings.”
The police still have to fill in many grey areas. It remained mysterious how and why the three gangsters visited their sworn enemy’s turf, which has been a no-go area for them for over a decade.
Another police official said the trio had been kidnapped from an up-market area where they had gone to attend a party.
“Our informants say they had been kidnapped by rival gangsters from a posh locality where they had gone to attend a party. They were brought back to Lyari, tortured and thrown on the junkyard. Later, perhaps as an afterthought, the gangsters took away the bodies of Arshad Pappu and Arafat and mutilated and burnt them. We don’t know whether there are any remains of the bodies there,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
A senior police official, who had been an active part of operations against gangsters in Lyari, said Pappu and Arafat were sons of notorious drug dealer Haji Laloo, who died in a prison last year.
According to him, Haji Laloo’s three more sons, Nasir alias Bengali, Shera and Aamir and grandson Bilal, were still at large. They carried Rs300,000 head money each.
Pappu had been released by a court after all 50 cases against him were dropped because of lack of evidence. Since then he had lived in Karachi and parts of Balochistan areas bordering Sindh and was regrouping his gang in Gadani town.
Pappu and Rehman Baloch, alias Dakait, were hands in glove until late 1990s. They were also tied in a family bond. Rehman and Pappu’s brother, Arafat’s wives were real sisters. At one point, Pappu developed acrimony with Dakait over ransom money of a kidnapping and separated from him. Puppu formed his own gang and they started killing each other’s gang members.
About a decade ago, Pappu kidnapped Faiz Mohammad, father of Uzair Jan Baloch, a local transporter, for ransom and later killed him, mutilated his body and thrown it on a junkyard. After that, Uzair joined Rehman’s gang to avenge his father’s murder, said a police official.
Pappu was arrested on charges of involvement in over 50 cases of kidnapping, killing, ransom and drug-peddling and remained incarcerated for five years – first in Karachi’s jails and then in the Gadani prison. After his release last year, he kept changing places for security reasons.
“He was too lethal, too brutal and an epitome of evil. In his life, he would copy Indian actor Sanjay Dutt’s role in his famous movie, Khalnaek (the bad man),” said a police official, who was involved in his arrest six years ago.