KARACHI: A 28-year-old transgender person was shot dead in the Shahbaz Commercial area of Defence Housing Authority late on Tuesday night, officials said on Wednesday.

Two other transgender persons accompanying the victim, Nadeem aka Chanda, disappeared following the gun attack in DHA Phase VI, the officials added.

SSP (Investigation) South Faizullah Korejo said the attackers were travelling in a double-cabin vehicle. They fired a single shot at Nadeem that proved fatal, he said.

The incident occurred at around 12.30am, he said, adding that two other transgender persons present there at the time of the incident went missing.

The police investigators collected a spent bullet casing of a 9mm pistol from the crime scene. It was sent to the forensic lab to ascertain if the same 9mm pistol had been used in the past in other crimes.

The officer said the police were trying to locate the missing transgender persons in order to record their statement. It would help in ascertaining the exact motive for the killing, he added.

Meanwhile, Darakhshan police officer Nadeem Gabol told Dawn that a murder case (FIR 440/2017) was registered against unidentified killers on the complaint of the victim’s father, Anwar Masih.

An initial probe revealed that the killers travelling in the white double-cabin vehicle were under the influence of alcohol, said Mr Gabol.

The complainant told the police that he was informed about his murder by his colleagues. He said the deceased had been in the company of transgender persons for the past eight to nine years.

Quoting two friends of the deceased, Viki and Sajjad, who witnessed the incident but later fled from the mortuary, Darakhshan SHO Aurangzeb Khattab told Dawn that they were standing at a traffic signal at Shahbaz Commercial when the suspects travelling in a Vigo vehicle arrived there. They talked with the transgenders before becoming involved in an altercation with them. While leaving the place, the suspects threw eggs at the transgenders who reacted by allegedly hurling insults and cursing them.

The suspects reversed the vehicle. One of them disembarked from it and shot Chanda, leaving the victim dead on the spot.

SHO Khattak said the bullet was fired from a distance of around 20 to 25 feet.

As it was dark, the CCTV camera installed there did not properly record the vehicle’s registration number, said the SHO.

GIA reaction

President of the Gender Interactive Alliance, Sindh, and focal person of the Social Welfare Department Bindia Rani told Dawn that she considered the murder of their colleague as part of “ongoing terror” in Karachi where guards, traffic personnel and policemen were being targeted.

“The murder of a transgender on a busy road in Defence also puts a question mark over the red alert issued by the higher authorities for law enforcers,” said Ms Rani.

Rani said she visited the mortuary of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre early Wednesday where the body of Chanda was brought for a post-mortem examination and stayed there for three to four hours.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2017

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