KARACHI: A 20-year-old law student kidnapped in the Defence Housing Authority a week ago returned home on Saturday.

Security officials suspected the involvement of a new sophisticated gang of kidnappers believed to be active in the upscale neighbourhood where the second such incident had occurred during the last few months.

Dua Mangi, a resident of Korangi Crossing, was kidnapped in the Bukhari Commercial area of the DHA on Nov 30 by four gunmen, who shot at and wounded her friend Haris Fatah Soomro as he put up resistance.

“Dua Mangi has reached home safely,” said South Zone DIG Sharjeel Kharal.

He said that investigation into the case would continue as they did not want the efforts of law enforcers for the last one week to go in vain and hoped that the culprits would be brought to justice.

Officials unsure about payment of Rs2m ransom for Dua’s release

The police have not recorded the statement of the young woman or her family as they were celebrating her safe return.

Mr Kharal said that it would be ascertained after the statement of the family if she was released after payment of ransom or collective efforts of the law enforcers forced the kidnappers to release her.

The family thanked the media and civil society for highlighting the issue of her abduction.

The girl’s father, Dr Nisar Ahmed Mangi, in his social media message said: “By the grace of God and blessing of the loving people of Sindh, people of Pakistan and friends from all over the world, my daughter Dua Mangi reached home safely.

“I am very much thankful to friends from media, especially civil society who helped us in these tough circumstances and shared their feelings with my family,” added the father.

Later, Dua’s mother talking to the media outside their home thanked Almighty Allah for the safe recover of her daughter. The other family members also thanked the media and people of Sindh who held demonstrations for the girl’s safe recovery.

Previous kidnapping

This was the second case of kidnapping of a girl in the DHA during the last seven months. Previously, a young girl, Bisma, was kidnapped also by four armed men in May 2019.

Karachi police in a statement had said recently that the police and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee were also investigating the case of Dua’s kidnapping from the perspective of the previous such case.

Two security officials, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that ransom was paid to the kidnappers in both cases. They said the girl was released after payment of ransom. The family had themselves negotiated with the kidnappers.

Another official said the family had reportedly paid Rs2 million as ransom for Dua’s release. However, the media quoted the family as having said that they did not pay any ransom.

The officer said it appeared that the kidnappers had done proper reconnaissance for kidnapping of Bisma.

The officer recalled that Bisma’s father had told the police “informally” that the kidnappers appeared to be familiar with the DHA area. It was apprehended that the criminals might be visiting the same eateries/roadside tea stalls in the DHA. They did not take the kidnap victim far away from the city. They might have hidden the kidnap victim within a distance of eight to 10 kilometres of the DHA.

The kidnappers did not mistreat the girl in the previous case. They even used to provide fast food from the same popular restaurant in the city to the victim but they changed its wrapping and even its size, shape and destroyed everything after.

The officer said he suspected that a new sophisticated gang of kidnappers was emerging in the city, who are said to be educated and familiar with the use of modern technology and if it was not taken seriously, there might be more such kidnappings in the future.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2019