KARACHI: Police inquiry into the killing of a 19-year-old student, who died in an encounter in Gadap on Saturday, revealed that several policemen had established links with peddlers supplying drugs to the metropolis from factories set up in the area dominated by Afghan refugees.

Student Bilal Khan was shot dead while another passerby Shakeel was injured during an alleged crossfire between a raiding team of police and drug peddlers.

The student’s death angered residents of the area, who then staged a sit-in on Superhighway (M-9) which prompted Additional IG Karachi Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh to order an inquiry into the incident led by DIG East Zone, Amir Farooqi.

Senior officer claims drug factories set up in Gadap, Maymar

“Seven policemen including sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors have been suspended as it transpired during the inquiry that they have contacts with drug peddlers in Gadap,” Mr Farooqi claimed while speaking to Dawn on Monday.

He added that four other police officers had been sent to the police headquarters for inquiry into their conduct. As far as Bilal’s murder was concerned, he said they were still waiting for the medico-legal report. However, he said, they had recorded statements of the policemen who were involved in the raid against the drug peddlers in the locality.

Mr Farooqi also claimed that during initial probe it was found that factories had been set-up off M-9 from where the drugs were being supplied to the city centre.

“There are factories making ice and crystal [drugs] in areas of Kochi Camp in limits of Gadap city police and Afghan camp in the jurisdiction of Gulshan-i-Maymar police,” said the officer. Various kinds of drugs — such as hashish, heroin, ice and crystal — were being supplied to Karachi from these areas, he added.

He said that whenever police raided the areas, the alleged drug peddlers tended to bring the people on streets, including women. The DIG said that of those who were protesting on Saturday afternoon, a majority of them had

been arrested by police on charges of carrying drugs. “We are looking at the [protest] videos and identifying people. This whole area needs a big operation clean-up,” he said.

Without naming anyone, Mr Farooqi said “everyone has been turning a blind eye to it (drug factories)”. In an oblique reference to the authorities concerned, he said that either they were complicit or did not realise the magnitude of the problem.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018