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Outrage over killing of 'political worker' by Karachi union council chairman

February 08, 2019

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Police says the UC chairman claims to have killed the victim in self defence after the latter tried to rob him. — File
Police says the UC chairman claims to have killed the victim in self defence after the latter tried to rob him. — File

Activists of Jeay Sindh Tehreek (JST) on Friday launched a protest outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) over the killing of their party’s Karachi president on Wednesday morning.

According to members of the JST, Irshad Ranjhani was shot in cold blood by Rahim Shah, the union council chairman of Bhains Colony, a neighbourhood in the Shah Latif Town area adjacent to the National Highway.

Ranjhani was allegedly shot twice by Rahim, according to the protesters, but was still alive when he was taken to Shah Latif police station, where he was allegedly shot eight more times by police officials.

Aftab Shah, a protester outside KPC, confirmed to Dawn that Ranjhani had been the Karachi president of JST.

According to Aftab, Ranjhani had been in touch with his family till Tuesday, after which his mobile phone was switched off.

Ranjhani’s family claims that Irshad, who is said to have been in his 30s, lived in Dubai and had only recently come to Pakistan to visit them. The family claims that the victim had been in Dadu till Sunday, after which he had returned to his home in Korangi, Karachi.

Offering a different perspective on the incident, District Inspector General East Amir Farooqi told Dawn that “preliminary findings indicate that Rahim had withdrawn cash from the bank, soon after which two men riding a motorbike intercepted him near Bhains Colony Mor on main National Highway.”

“The two men showed the nazim a pistol and asked for the cash. The UC Nazim says he fired on the guy from inside the car in self-defence,” DIG Farooqi said.

"The person with Ranjhani ran away riding the motorbike,” he said, adding that “there are witnesses to the whole incident as it happened in a public space and in broad daylight.”

DIG Farooq added: “We are checking if the deceased had a criminal record or not.”

Members of the civil society have taken to social media, using the hashtag #JusticeForIrshadRanjhani and posting videos showing the UC chairman shooting Ranjhani in front of a crowd.

Meanwhile, protesters outside the KPC are demanding that a first investigation report be registered against Rahim, the Shah Latif station house officer and the Bin Qasim Town deputy superintendent of police.