KARACHI: Police on Saturday claimed to have arrested two suspected hitmen for their alleged involvement in the recent targeted killing of a religious scholar in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

They said that Sufi Abdul Qayyum was murdered on March 21 over a property dispute by hired assassins and there was no sectarian motive behind his killing.

Speaking at a press conference, DIG-East Muquddas Haider said that the police and an intelligence agency, with the help of CCTV footage, carried out raids in different areas and arrested two suspects.

He said that the suspects were identified as Ali Akbar alias Shahid and Tanveer. An unlicensed pistol and the motorcycle used in the murder were recovered from them, he added.

The DIG said that suspect Akbar “confessed” to have killed the scholar. “Their handler has been identified and efforts were under way to arrest him,” he said.

He clarified that the murder had nothing to do with any mosque issue as suggested by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman.

He said that the held suspects were hired assassins, who were given Rs500,000 by their ‘handler’ for killing the scholar over some plot dispute.

SSP-East Zubair Nazeer Shaikh told Dawn that Akbar was arrested in 2013 as he was involved in a ‘political shooting’.

The second suspect, Tanveer, was also arrested in connection with a theft case and sent to the prison in the year 2014, the SSP said, adding that both Akbar and Tanveer became friends in prison.

Sufi Abdul Qayum, a leader of the Sunni Ulema Council, was gunned down by armed pillion riders near his residence when he was returning home after offering Fajr prayer in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023

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