KARACHI: Police shot at and critically wounded an unarmed Class IX student near the Rizvia Society underpass on Wednesday morning.

The student, Ayaan, 15, and his friend, Awais, were riding as many motorbikes when the police signalled them. As police got hold of Awais, Ayaan tried to turn his motorbike, but a policeman fired at him leaving him seriously wounded, police and his family said.

The victim was taken to the Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) for treatment. LNH spokesperson Anjum Rizvi told the media that the 15-year-old boy was being treated at the intensive care unit.

He said that the bullet hit the lower portion and stuck in his lungs. As a result, the lower limb had been damaged and could not be moved because the bullet had not exited.

SSP concedes police’s ‘mistake’; SHO suspended, cop who resorted to firing detained

The incident, however, prompted police high-ups to order an inquiry and placed the Rizvia SHO under suspension.

Without providing any details about the incident, the police stated in a statement that the DIG-West set up an inquiry committee, the policeman involved in the shooting incident, identified as Safdar, was detained and the Rizvia Society SHO Waqar Kaiser had been suspended.

SSP-Central Maroof Usman, who visited the hospital and met with the family of the wounded student, told Dawn that the incident was being thoroughly probed and facts would be shared with the media.

He said that departmental and legal proceedings would be initiated against the policemen involved in the incident.

Narrating their ordeal, Awais told the media that they were riding separate motorbikes and when they reached near the underpass and slowed down the bike, a policeman tried to stop him and as a result, his bike slipped.

He said Ayaan was behind him and he tried to turn his bike to escape, but “the policemen resorted to firing from behind”.

“Ayan was critically injured after being shot and fell on the road, while some policemen in plain clothes continued making his video. We were crying for help, but the policemen did not listen,” he said.

The SSP-Central termed it a regrettable incident and conceded that the police committed a mistake. Negligence of the police would be brought to the notice of the people.

He said that the DIG-West had established an inquiry committee to ascertain the circumstances leading to the incident and fix responsibility.

He said that the treatment of the wounded boy was the responsibility of the police.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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