KARACHI: Police on Sunday claimed to have arrested a man, said to be associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London, for his alleged involvement in killing 41 people since 1995.

Speaking at a press conference at his office, SSP-East Azfar Mahesar said acting on a tip-off, the Bahadurabad police arrested Sajid, alias Bona, near a Karachi Water and Sewerage Board office on Sharea Faisal and seized a weapon and a stolen motorbike from him.

He said the suspect was an employee of the Sindh health department.

“The held suspect belongs to the MQM-London and has committed heinous crimes under directions of his party leadership,” said the officer. “He had been involved in heinous crimes since 1995 when he gunned down a police officer in Jamshed Quarters.”

SSP Mahesar claimed that the held suspect’s alleged team of targeted killers comprised 11 members.

A member of his team, Sagheer alias Mota, had fled to Dubai in 2013 while Asad Iqbal, a sector in-charge and Qadeer had also gone underground in 2014. Saleem alias Tension was now in jail while his six accomplices were killed during different ‘encounters’ with police and Rangers, he added.

The suspect is an employee of Sindh health department

They had killed their accomplice Nadeem Abbasi over suspicions of being an ‘informer’ of the Sunni Tehreek.

The suspect was allegedly involved in 31 criminal cases — all of those have been declared ‘A-class’ by police.

He had killed two policemen, a director of the education department and an excise official, the SSP said.

He claimed that the suspect had joined a ‘preaching party’ to avoid arrest.

During an initial probe, the suspect told the police that they killed a police constable, Nabi Bakhsh, in 1995 in Usmania Colony over suspicions of being an ‘informer.’

They killed another policeman, Anwarul Haq, in 2013 near Jail Chowrangi as he had ‘misbehaved’ with the wife of their accomplice Saleem Tension.

He told the police that they gunned down education director Mohammed Shamim in 2012 inside his office over transfer and posting issues. He claimed that they were directed by their party to kill government officers.

They had also killed workers of MQM-Haqiqi, Sunni Tehreek and PPP.

JST leader murder probe being conducted on technical grounds

Answering a question, the SSP said that the inquiry into the murder of Jeay Sindh Tehreek’s city president Irshad Ranjhani, who was killed by Malir union council chairman Abdul Raheem Shah by declaring him ‘robber’ at Bhains Colon Mor on Feb 6, was being conducted on technical grounds.

SSP Mahesar, who is one of the members of the inquiry committee constituted by the city police chief to inquire into the causes and circumstances leading to the killing, said that the pistols recovered from deceased Ranjhani and the UC chairman and spent bullet casings had been sent to the police’s laboratory for a forensic analysis.

The call data record of both deceased and the UC chairman would also be checked, he added.

He said that as Ranjhani’s family members had gone to their native place in Dadu for his burial, the investigation team would record their statements when they would come back to the city.

Parties, civil society stage protests

Various political parties and civil society activists on Sunday held a protest demonstration near the Governor House against the killing of Ranjhani.

They staged a sit-in at Fawara Chowk on Abdullah Haroon Road before dispersing peacefully.

The protesters, including women, demanded the arrest of UC chairman Raheem Shah.

Also on Sunday, different political parties held a protest at Bhains Colony, where the incident had taken place.

Murad irked by delay in UC chairman’s arrest Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday held a meeting at the CM House to review the progress into the killing of Ranjhani.

Sources said that Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Home Secretary Abdul Kabeer Qazi and Additional IG of Karachi Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh attended the meeting.

CM Shah expressed his displeasure that the UC chairman had not been arrested so far.

He said the government had given a ‘free hand’ to the police and there was no ‘political interference’ and now the police had to show results.

The chief minister observed that this was a metropolitan city not a tribal area where a UC chairman openly killed a person without being caught by police.

Mr Shah said why the police did not arrest him when they had reached the spot on Feb 6.

The sources said the city police chief informed the meeting that the UC chairman had gone ‘underground’ and efforts were under way to arrest him.

He said that three teams had been set up for investigation and his arrest. Besides, the police also sought help of intelligence agencies to trace and arrest the chairman.

Dr Shaikh informed the chief minister that a ‘positive development’ was expected within the next two days.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019