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Jailer shot dead in targeted attack

September 15, 2013

KARACHI, Sept 14: A prison official, deputy superintendent of police, was killed in an ambush on his car in Model Colony on Saturday in what police investigators saw as a case of sectarian attack and also linked with his sensitive professional association.

The officials said that armed riders on a motorbike targeted DSP Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah minutes after he had left his home in Model Colony with a younger brother. The attack was so severe that the densely-populated locality reverberated with gunfire, spreading fear and panic in the area.

“The younger brother, Sher Muhammad, told the police that he was with Mr Shah but escaped unhurt,” said Inspector Misri Shah, the SHO of the Model Colony police station. “He said he ducked when he heard the gunshots and that’s why couldn’t notice the number of attackers who had intercepted them near Faryal School, neighbourhing Soorti Housing Society in Model Colony, which is hardly 500 metres from the Malir Cantt gate 2. But he is sure, as are we, that the attackers were on a motorbike.”

The 46-years-old DSP, who died on the spot, was hit by four bullets on the head and chest, he said, adding that the body was later shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. The deceased, who left two widows and seven children, was recently promoted and posted as deputy superintendent at the juvenile jail in Landhi.

Before the recent posting he was serving at the central prison as an inspector. The investigators, who earlier suspected a dispute within the family as a reason behind the incident, after examining the crime scene and going through other facts were having second thoughts.

“Sher Muhammad, the younger brother of the victim, told the police that they had some serious dispute with their nephew, who lived in Hyderabad,” said an official associated with the Model Colony police station’s investigation arm.

“Sher Muhammad was also attacked by his nephew more than a month ago in Hyderabad but he escaped with a bullet wound in the left arm.”

However, the way the attack on DSP Shah was carried out and multiple casings of spent bullets of 9mm pistol — the commonly used arm in targeted attacks — on the crime scene encouraged the high-ups to explore other angles as well. That was the reason that pushed the authorities to set up a special team for investigation instead of pursuing the probe in a conventional way.

“The investigations are open so far,” said newly-appointed DIG-East Munir Sheikh. “We are looking into different aspects, including a sectarian motive for the attack as well as the jail services of the victim. For that purpose, an investigation team has been set up under an SP rank officer, which would come up with an initial report in the next few days.”

He said the police had necessary expertise to investigate such cases, which would help determine the motive and people behind the deadly attack in the shortest possible time. The investigators during the course of their job would also consider personal and professional history of the victim, he added.