The main suspect in the Kashmore gang-rape incident, who was arrested a day earlier, was killed on Friday by his accomplice in an alleged 'encounter' in Kashmore district near the RD-109 area of the Sindh-Balochistan border, police officials told Dawn.com.
According to Larkana Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nasir Aftab, the main suspect, Rafique Malik, was "killed by the firing of co-accused Khairullah Bugti while he was taken to point out a hideout of his co-accused" in the jurisdiction of Bakhshapur Police Station.
Bugti was later arrested along with the "rifle after exchange of firing", DIG Aftab told Dawn.com via text message.
A day earlier, police had arrested Malik for allegedly subjecting a woman and her minor daughter to rape for two days after duping the former with a job offer in Kashmore district.
At the time, police had said they had arrested the suspect using a trap while an accomplice was still at large.
On Friday, DIG Aftab said that during interrogation, "the accused Rafique Malik disclosed a secret hideout of the remaining accused Khairullah Bugti at a local dargah near Bakhshapur."
"As soon as the accused Rafique Malik along with police reached at the spot, the co-accused Khairullah started firing in which Malik died and co-accused [was] arrested with weapons," the DIG added.
Malik was suspected of raping a mother and her five-year-old daughter for two days after duping them into travelling to Kashmore from Karachi.
Both the victims hail from Karachi, according to Kashmore police. The woman had met Malik at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi nearly a week ago, when he had "promised the woman that he would get her a job at Kashmore Toll Plaza and she readily agreed”, a policeman said.
The woman arrived in Kashmore over the past weekend and met Malik. Two days later, she approached Kashmore police, alleging that he had raped her after she reached his residence, and he then handed her over to another man — Khairullah Bugti — living near the Sindh-Balochistan border. That man also allegedly raped the woman, according to a police officer.
The woman told police that the suspect held her minor daughter hostage, saying he would only let her go when she brought him another woman from Karachi. According to police, the suspect also gave her some money to cover her travelling expenses.
Kashmore police then devised a ploy to nab the suspect.
“Our ASI (assistant sub-inspector) Mohammad Bux Buriro persuaded his wife to talk to the suspect over phone which she did. Then the woman from Karachi and the ASI’s daughter waited in a park in Kashmore where the suspect was scheduled to meet them,” said Kashmore Station House Officer (SHO) Akbar Channa.
As soon as the suspect arrived there, police apprehended him, according to the SSP. He then led police to a cattle pen where he had kept the young girl. “The girl told police that he had subjected her to criminal assault,” the police officer said.
He explained that the trap was arranged and police needed a woman for this purpose so the suspect would be tricked into thinking the victim had brought another woman as he had desired. “Otherwise it would have been difficult to lay hands on him,” he said.
A case was registered against the two men on Tuesday on the complaint of Kashmore police under Sections 376 (punishment of rape), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Besides the two suspects, one unidentified person was also nominated in the case by police.
Later on Thursday, SSP Kashmore Amjad Ali Shaikh had said that Bugti had also subjected the woman to rape but spared her daughter.