The body of a man, who was allegedly tortured to death, was found at a farmhouse belonging to a PPP lawmaker in Karachi's Malir on Wednesday, police and the victim's relatives said.
According to Memon Goth Station House Officer (SHO) Khalid Abbasi, Nazim Sajawal Jokhio's tortured body was found at the Jam House, said to be PPP MPA Jam Awais' farmhouse in Malir's Jam Goth, at around 2:30pm on Wednesday.
He said the victim seemed to have died after being thrashed with sticks and punches during a scuffle at the Jam House. The SHO added that police had arrested two suspects in the case.
Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur told Dawn that Nazim's body had been shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for the completion of legal formalities. He also confirmed that two suspects had been detained for interrogation.
The officer said that police were waiting for the victim's relatives to file a case so that legal proceedings could be formally initiated.
Later, a case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim's brother, Afzal Jokhio.
Additional Police Surgeon at JPMC, Dr Summaiya Syed, said there were "bruises and abrasions" on the victim's lower body. However, doctors did not confirm the cause of the death.
Afzal, the victim's brother and a former councillor of Karachi's Ghaghar Phatak area, accused PPP MPA Jam Awais and MNA Jam Abdul Karim of being involved in his brother's alleged murder.
He and other relatives made the allegation on the basis of a video, which they said Nazim recorded. In the video Nazim said he had been tortured and threatened over a clip he shot of the "guests" of some influential persons hunting animals in his village near Thatta's Jungshahi town.
In the video, shared with the media by Nazim's relatives and seen by Dawn.com, the victim said he had shot a video of some persons hunting animals on his mobile phone, which led to his phone being snatched and him getting a beating. Without naming anyone, he said his phone was later returned, at which he called police helpline Madadgar-15.
But when police did not reach for help and the "hunters" left, Nazim said he visited a police station to file a complaint about being subjected to torture.
However, the victim narrated, he received "threatening phone calls", being asked to "delete the video [of hunting] or face the consequences the [next] morning".
Nazim said in case of any harm to him, the persons at whose house the "hunter guests" were staying would be responsible.
“I am not afraid but this video statement of mine should be kept on record. I am receiving threats and I will not seek an apology,” he said in the video.
Enraged over the incident, Nazim's relatives and other members of the Jokhio community from Malir and adjoining areas staged a protest and blocked the National Highway near Gulshan-i-Hadeed on Wednesday.
The protesters, led by Nazim's brother, Afzal, alleged that the victim was murdered at the behest of influential persons, referring to the hunting video recorded by him.
Afzal told media persons on the occasion that Nazim had been receiving threats from the Jam House in Malir and was asked to visit the farmhouse immediately for a "patch up".
However, he said, when he and his brother went there, MNA Abdul Karim started beating Nazim and asked him (Afzal) to leave.
"I told him I was leaving my brother behind, trusting the MNA, and would take him away once a decision on the matter was made," Afzal said, adding that when he reached his house late on Tuesday night, two persons from the Jam House, Wadera Mohammed Khan Jokhio and Wadera Ishaq Jokhio, informed him that his brother had died.
“My brother was subjected to cruelty and was murdered,” he said.
Afzal urged the Sindh chief minister, Sindh inspector general of police, Rangers director general and other authorities for justice and the arrest of "influential waderas [landlords]" allegedly involved in the murder.
Sindh CM takes notice
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh criticised officials over the delay in registering the FIR.
A statement issued by his spokesperson quoted him as saying that police were responsible for the delay in the post-mortem and registration of the FIR, which was "shameful".
He urged police to ensure the arrest of persons involved in the murder and assured the victim's family of his support.
Shortly after, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed police officials to register a case according to the wishes of the deceased's relatives.