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No headway in probe into young Christian man’s death

Updated May 20, 2017
Shalem Kamran — Dawn
Shalem Kamran — Dawn

KARACHI: Police have failed to trace and arrest five young men nominated in the murder case of their friend, whose body was found inside a vacant apartment in Mehmoodabad on May 14, it emerged on Friday.

The family of 24-year-old Shalem approached the police as they suspected some foul play behind his death. A case was registered against six friends of the deceased, but only one of them was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder.

On Friday, the last rites of the young victim were performed at a local church. His relatives and members of the Christian community attended the funeral rites.

The relatives told the media that Shalem, a resident of Cantonment Station, was allegedly killed by his friend who invited him to a party late on Saturday night in Mehmoodabad.

As the remaining five suspects are still at large, they alleged that the police were not taking “interest” in the case. They demanded that the Sindh chief minister and senior police authorities take notice of the incident.

However, police officer Mohammad Ashraf Ghumman rejected the allegation that the police were not taking interest in arresting the other suspects. He said efforts were under way to arrest the five absconders, who managed to escape.

He added that the police were also waiting for the report of a chemical examination to ascertain the exact cause of death.

Ghumman said that a case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father Pervez Kamran Masih.

He said that the family had expressed their suspicions that Shalem was allegedly poisoned by his friends as they had brought the body to a hospital several hours after his death.

The body was later shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi for a post-mortem examination. Additional Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said doctors reserved samples of a chemical examination to determine the exact cause of death. He said apparently there were no injury marks.

He said that the report was expected in the next week.

Former Mehmoodabad SHO Anwar Ali Shaikh, who was recently removed from his post, identified the lone suspect arrested so far as Ahmed, who he said during initial investigations told the police they had arranged a “whisky party” at a house in Mehmoodabad on Saturday night.

However, the friend tasked with arranging the liquor could not bring it, Ahmed told the police, adding that Shalem reached the place after midnight and he was “already under the influence of alcohol”.

He said the friend went to bed late at night. He woke up at about 3.30am because Shalem had vomited up his food. When he inquired, he asked Ahmed to let him sleep. However, when he woke up again at 6.30am he found Shalem dead.

He went on to say that all the friends were terrified over his death. One of them, identified as Osama, phoned his maternal uncle, who owned the place where the party was arranged, but he snubbed him over the phone since he had got him in trouble.

Ahmed told the police that he phoned his mother who along with his sister and her brother-in-law reached the place.

“It took them several hours to shift the body to the hospital,” the police officer confirmed.

Police officer Ghumman, who completed medico-legal formalities at the CHK on Sunday, told Dawn that a considerable delay in shifting the body to the hospital raised suspicions and the police detained Ahmed since he had brought the body. Later, he along with five other friends was booked in the murder case.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017