ISLAMABAD: A close associate of the owner of a housing society who was murdered on Friday in a targeted attack was also gunned down along with his guard on Saturday.

The victim was identified as Raja Rashid, a close associate of slain Mirza Naveed, a co-owner of Islamabad Model Town. Naveed was shot dead on Friday. Police said Rashid’s gunman Arshad also died in the Saturday attack.

Talking to Dawn, police officers on condition of anonymity said Rashid ran the office of the housing society and was also responsible for land measuring and sale and purchase. After an attack on the housing society’s office located in Malot on April 22 in which a man identified as Tanvir Ahmed was murdered, Rashid and the two owners of the society - Mirza Naveed and Malik Tahir - had sought security from the police but it was not provided to them, they said.

Over the incident, a case was registered in the Banigala police station but the police never arrested the accused nominated in the FIR.

So far, dispute between society and villagers of Malot has claimed five lives, says official

Rashid along with his gunmen was going to Pims from Malpur to inquire after Malik Tahir, who along with two gunmen and a driver of Naveed, was injured in the Friday’s attack on Ninth Avenue. Some people intercepted Rashid at Malpur and opened indiscriminate firing at his vehicle and escaped.

Police reached the spot and found Rashid dead on the spot. His injured gunman was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, the officers said, adding the police collected 80 bullet shells of SMGs from the spot.

Rashid was on bail in connection with a case registered at the Banigala police station on Jan 28 under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) along with sections 302, 324, 341, 447, 511, 109, 506ii, 148 and 149 of Pakistan Penal Code. Mirza Naveed and Malik Tahir were also nominated in the case. A man identified as Gulbaz was killed in the attack on Jan 28.

Earlier, the police recovered over two dozen bullet shells from Ninth Avenue after Naveed and Malik Tahir and his employees were attacked on Friday, the officers said.

A case was registered at the Industrial Area police station in response to a complaint lodged by Malik Tahir. The complainant said he along with Naveed and three other people were going from their office at I-9/4 to Islamabad Club.

Two Vigos intercepted their vehicles at the Ninth Avenue interlink adjacent to the Industrial Area police station and nine armed people disembarked from these vehicles and opened indiscriminate firing on them.

Tahir managed to speed away but was intercepted by the attackers after a brief chase at Ninth Avenue, the FIR said, adding the attackers again disembarked from their vehicles and fired at him.

After registration of the case, the police raided dozens of places to arrest the accused nominated by Tahir, the officers said, adding some suspects were picked but in the meanwhile two lives were also lost to the enmity on Saturday.

According to the preliminarily police investigation, the deadly attacks on Friday and Saturday were aimed at avenging the murder of Gulbaz on January 28.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Afzaal Ahmed Kausar directed the SSP operations to deploy police guards with Malik Tahir, who is admitted to hospital, along with two others nominated in the FIR.

The officers said Gulbaz’s father was in Dubai while the other with whom the owner of Model Town had a land dispute was in Karachi.

So far, the dispute has claimed five lives, three from Islamabad Model Town Housing Society side and one from the other group, consisting of villagers, they said.

A senior officer of the capital administration told Dawn on condition of anonymity that rights of common lands (shamalat) were purchased for the Islamabad Model Town from a cousin of Tassaduq Hussain Shah, a resident of Malot.

But the cousin also gave possession of the land to the society which was under the possession of Tassaduq Hussain Shah, a resident of Malot, which led to the dispute between the society and Shah.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Anil Saeed told Dawn that the police had referred the case to his court with a request for action. he said he ordered to seal the disputed land as two persons, one each from the sides, had been murdered and to avoid further loss of lives. The disputed lands are still sealed, he added.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2021

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