‘MQM-L man’ held for killing 96 persons, weapons seized

Updated November 21, 2019

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Police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a suspected hitman for his alleged involvement in killings of 96 persons. — AP/File
Police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a suspected hitman for his alleged involvement in killings of 96 persons. — AP/File

KARACHI: Police on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a suspected hitman for his alleged involvement in killings of 96 persons.

“The anti-street crime squad and Soldier Bazaar police arrested Yusuf alias Thelewala and seized a TT pistol, grenade and a motorbike from him,” said SSP East Azfar Mahesar.

The held suspect belonged to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London and he had revealed to have killed 96 persons, he added.

Speaking at a press conference at his office, the SSP said that the held suspect joined the MQM in 1995 and started targeted killings the same year.

“He along with his other accomplices was directly involved in killing of 30 people. He had also disposed 66 bodies,” he said.

The suspect claims to have been in touch with Dr Farooq Sattar, who denies the allegation

The victims included two army personnel, an official of the Pakistan Air Force, 12 people whom he killed on suspicions of being police informers, one policeman, five workers of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi, a government employee and others.

During initial investigations, he revealed that he along with his other accomplices — Nadeem alias Marble, Riaz alias Chacha, Azeem alias Chhota, Rashid alias Chhota, Abdul Salam — kidnapped two brothers, Asif and Kashif, from Mominabad and killed them over suspicion of being informers.

The SSP said that he was first arrested by the Rangers in 1996, but he got released on bail in 1997.

He was again arrested by the Mominabad police in 1998 for his alleged involvement in the murder of two persons. He spent five years in prison and got released on parole in 2003.

The SSP said that he had been in hiding since 2003 and during that period he got directions from the MQM leadership in London.

He said that the home department had also issued directives for his arrest since his parole was cancelled.

“He had established a reign of terror in district West,” the SSP said, adding that his several accomplices were either killed during ‘encounters’ or languishing in prison.

The held suspect told the media that he was in touch with senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar.

He claimed that he used to meet with Dr Sattar at the party’s Nine Zero headquarters and he (Sattar) arranged a room for him for his temporary residence there.

However, Dr Sattar rejected the suspect’s claims and said that he did not know any “alleged target killer named Yusuf”.

“I did not know as to who came to Nine Zero or Khurshid Begum hall because hundreds of people had brought their grievances there on a daily basis,” he said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

Dr Sattar saw a conspiracy in the allegations levelled by the suspect.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019