Kanju’s son held for killing boy

Published April 3, 2015
Zain, a class-IX student, died on the spot when Mustafa Kanju opened indiscriminate fire at the teenager. —Wikimedia commons
Zain, a class-IX student, died on the spot when Mustafa Kanju opened indiscriminate fire at the teenager. —Wikimedia commons

LAHORE: Mustafa Kanju, the son of a former minister, who had allegedly killed a teenager on Wednesday, was arrested on Thursday after a case was registered against him under 7-ATA and Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Mustafa, the son of former minister for foreign affairs Siddique Kanju, and brother of PML-N MNA Abdul Rehman Kanju, had got infuriated after his luxury car accidentally hit the vehicle of a woman in Cavalry Ground. He opened indiscriminate fire and bullets hit Zain, 16, a motorcyclist, and Husnain, 18, who had come out of the house after hearing the noise. Zain, a class-IX student, died on the spot and Husnain was critically injured.

Police had told newsmen the previous night they had arrested two persons involved in the incident and tried to conceal their names. However, media reports revealed the principal suspect was Mustafa Kanju who had escaped while some other reports said he was arrested.

CM announces compensation for victim’s family

Sources claimed six security guards of Kanju were arrested on Wednesday night from his residence in Old Cavalry Ground. Police also recovered empty shells of a gun from the crime scene and later seized the gun used in the incident.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident, ordered arrest of the suspect and announced Rs0.5m for the family of the deceased. He also assured them of the provision of justice.

There were confusing statements about the incident by police which also contradicted the eyewitnesses’ account.

The DSP concerned claimed to have arrested Kanju from Kahror Pakka, Lodhran district. SSP Investigations Rana Ayaz Salim said Kanju was arrested from Khushab.

Eyewitnesses had told the media that it was Kanju who had allegedly opened fire. The woman whose car was hit by Kanju managed to escape and bullets hit the two boys.

A policeman, who claimed to be the first official reaching the spot after the shooting, said, on the condition of anonymity, Kanju’s car had accidentally collided with another car in the street. He alleged Kanju, who was accompanied by a girl, was drunk. He came out of the car and started shouting at the woman, blaming her for the accident. He said some people had gathered there and they tried to convince Kanju it was not the woman driver’s fault. This infuriated Kanju who called his guards and resorted to ‘aerial firing’ while bullets hit the two boys.

Zahoor Ahmed, father of the injured Hasnain, told Dawn they heard people shouting outside their house. They came out and saw an armed man standing in front of a car. As the man started firing, they rushed back towards their gate but it was too late as a bullet had hit Hasnain.

Ahmed said he shifted Hasnain to Services Hospital in his car where the doctors removed the bullet from his body. “Now my son’s condition is out of danger,” he added.

Meanwhile, funeral prayers for Zain were offered at a Cavalry Ground mosque. After the prayers, his relatives staged a demonstration against police for twisting facts to the benefit of Kanju. Carrying placards and banners, they demanded punishment for the suspect.

Zain was an orphan. His uncle, Sohail, told the media persons that his family had been getting threat calls from Kanju’s family, asking them not to pursue the case.

Siddique Khan Kanju passed away in 2001. His elder son Abdur Rehman Kanju was Lodhran district nazim and is now an MNA of the PML-N.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2015

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