President of Gadani ship-breaking workers union dies in police custody

Updated February 18, 2019

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The man was allegedly dragged and thrown into the vehicle where police claim he suffered a heart attack. — File
The man was allegedly dragged and thrown into the vehicle where police claim he suffered a heart attack. — File

The president of Gadani ship-breaking workers union, Babu Karim Jan, died under mysterious circumstances in Karachi on Sunday morning, soon after being arrested by police from his residence in Metroville, located in the city's SITE area.

Police claimed that Jan, who was in his late 60s, was wanted in two attempted murder cases and died after suffering a "heart attack".

According to the deceased's relatives, Iqbal Market police conducted a raid in Metroville at around 1:30am and detained Karim Jan and his son, Amin.

They allegedly dragged and threw him into the police mobile where he died under mysterious circumstances. Later on, the police abandoned his body there and tried to disappear when the residents of the area gathered and made videos of the vehicle which were then shared on social media.

Editorial: A crime unpunished

The deceased’s son, Amin, told media that when the police conducted a raid on their home, he informed the police that his father was a heart patient, but they allegedly did not pay heed to his request.

“They (the police) dragged him and threw him into the mobile,” the son alleged.

West SSP Shoukat Ali Khatian while talking to Dawn confirmed that police had arrested the deceased.

“There were two FIRs registered against him over charges of attempted murders and the police arrested him in the same cases,” the officer said. However, the senior officer did not elaborate further.

The body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital to fulfil legal formalities.

A post-mortem examination was conducted in the presence of the magistrate concerned by a team of doctors comprising Additional Police Surgeon Dr Saleem Shaikh, Dr Abid Haroon, and Dr Pervez Makhdoom.

The additional police surgeon told Dawn that the cause of death will be determined after a histopathological and chemical examination.

Editorial: Police brutality

On Sunday evening, the relatives and community members held a protest outside the Karachi Press Club.

The protesters accused the police of "brutally torturing" and killing the elderly man. They demanded the arrest of, and registration of a murder case against, the police party involved.

Meanwhile, National Trade Union Federation leader Nasir Mansoor said the death of a nearly 70-year-old trade union leader was the latest example of “police brutality” in the city and other parts of the country.

He too demanded the arrest of the policemen involved in the incident.