KARACHI: Two policemen of the Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) were gunned down in a “targeted attack” in Orangi Town on Monday morning, as terrorism reared its ugly head in the metropolis after a lull, officials said.
Constables Ahmed Ali, 40, and Allah Dino, 39, were going to the Mominabad police station, the place of their duty, on a motorbike from their residence at the Saeedabad police training centre. They were not wearing police uniform.
SSP West (Investigation) Abid Ali Baloch said when they reached near Zainab School at Noori Chowk at 8.30am four assailants riding two motorbikes intercepted and fired at them. Both of them sustained critical bullet wounds and died on the way to hospital.
Investigators collected four spent bullet casings of a 9mm pistol from the scene of the crime. The empties were sent to the police’s forensic science laboratory for analysing and cross-matching, added the SP.
Additional Police Surgeon of the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Saleem Shaikh confirmed that both the victims were brought dead to the hospital.
Spent bullet casings have been matched with those used in the earlier murder of a policeman in district West
They were shot in the head and neck.
Constable Ali originally hailed from district Qambar-Shahdadkot. He was father of four children. He was recruited in 2008.
Constable Allah Dino belonged to district Sanghar. He was father of three. He was recruited in 2009.
Killed by criminals or jihadis?
DIG West Dr Amin Yousufzai told the media that it appeared to be a “targeted killing” incident.
He said that they did not get any specific threats regarding targeted killings of policemen.
Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh told Dawn that investigators were focusing on two likely motives, ie the constables were either killed by criminals or jihadi elements.
He said that the police got a “significant clue” and they were working on it to trace, identify and ascertain the motive of the killers.
He said that the slain policemen had been performing their duty at the Mominabad police station for the past two to three months. They were shot at a close range.
They were targeted near the police station, which is far from their residence, and it indicated that the assailants might want to give a “message” to the police.
As the slain constables were in civvies, it also indicated the possibility that the killers might have been “familiar” with them, the city police chief said.
CCTV footage obtained from the crime scene showed that one suspect wore a helmet while another wore a cap.
Forensic analysis of bullet casings
A police officer who wished not to be named told Dawn that four spent bullet casings fired from 9mm pistols were matched with two previous cases namely FIR 44/2019 at Iqbal Market police station registered on Feb 14, 2019 and FIR 36/2019 registered at the same police station on Feb 6, 2019.
Iqbal Market SHO Adeel Ahmed told Dawn that the first FIR (44/2019) pertained to the murder of a former police officer, Shafqat, who was gunned down at Rehmat Chowk on Feb 14 this year.
The officer recalled that one suspect was arrested in the murder case of the former police officer who got released from court on account of lack of sufficient evidence.
The SHO also revealed that the other FIR (36/2019) related to an extortion case. The officer said that since this extortion case actually belonged to Madina Colony police station, they would be in a better position to explain further about it.
The funeral prayers for the slain policemen were held at the Police Headquarters, Garden. Provincial ministers, Sindh police chief and other senior officials of police, Rangers and intelligence agencies were present.
IGP Kaleem Imam said on the occasion that terrorists would be arrested soon.
He believed that such incidents would not deter the policemen from carrying out actions against criminals.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019