KARACHI: Police on Saturday said that the family was not presenting actual facts about Friday’s encounter in Defence Housing Authority in which their driver was killed along with four other alleged members of a gang of inter-provincial house robbers.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Laila Parveen and her husband, Advocate Ali Hasnain, had raised doubts over the veracity of the police encounter and claimed that their driver, Abbas, was picked up and later killed by the law enforcement agencies.

The couple returned to the metropolis from Islamabad on Saturday and demanded that the Sindh chief minister, prime minister and chief justice of Pakistan take notice of the killing of their ‘innocent’ driver.

However, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Dawn Ms Parveen was not stating actual facts.

He claimed that the call data record showed that her driver had 17 calls to prime accused Ghulam Mustafa. “The phone of the principal accused was also recovered from her [Parveen’s] Vigo vehicle. We will release further details of the case as we work out all aspects of the police action,” he said.

Husband’s role as facilitator being looked into

A senior officer, wishing not to be named, said the gang of robbers belonging to south Punjab had remained active in DHA from 2017 to 2020.

They used housemaids to get information of the houses where they worked to commit robberies, he added.

The officer, who had been posted in district South, mostly in Clifton, for the past two years, said the housemaids in DHA were mostly from south Punjab as they had migrated after the devastating floods of 2010. “This Seraiki gang is comprised of 25 plus members, out of them eight to 10 have been arrested and sent behind bars.”

He said that at least 16 big robberies had taken place in DHA recently and the police got some “technical help” when ringleader Mustafa arrived in the city from Multan six days ago.

He believed that they were planning a house robbery when they were “neutralised” in the encounter.

He disclosed that driver Abbas was not only in touch with the ringleader but also remained in contact with another suspect, Abid, as they contacted over phone 41 times.

He said Ms Parveen’s husband, Hasnain, had installed an “attorney at law” plate on their Vigo vehicle and they were also looking into his role since the suspects were allegedly travelling in the said vehicle before being killed in the encounter.

He said Hasnain had remained the president of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s south Punjab organisational structure.

“We are also probing as to whether Ali Hasnain was involved in ‘facilitating’ the gang of robbers and if concrete evidence emerges, he may be booked in the case,” the officer said.

PTI leader’s charges

On Saturday, PTI leader Parveen told media that her vehicle was normal as there was no scratch on it, while there was also no blood.

She said that driver Abbas had come to Karachi around 11 days ago after staying at his native place in Punjab for nine months.

He was asleep in their DHA home when the police took him in their parked car and later killed him along with four other persons, she said, adding that the CCTV recording from their bungalow was also taken by the police who later “deleted” it.

Her lawyer husband said that deleting CCTV recording showed police’s “mala fide intention”.

The PTI leader said the deceased was not only her driver but brother as well and she would strive for providing justice to his family.

She urged the CM, the PM and CJP to take notice of the killing.

Meanwhile, additional police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre said the fresh post-mortem examination on the bodies could not be carried out on Saturday as the police handed over the bodies to deceased’s relatives late on Friday night.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2020

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