KARACHI, Feb 1: A second post-mortem examination of Mohammad Hasan Gichki, an under-trial prisoner who died on Tuesday, was carried out at the Civil Hospital on Wednesday night while, earlier in the day, the government placed the superintendent jail of Central Prison Karachi under suspension over the circumstances of the UTP’s death.

Hasan Gichki, 40, a cousin of Akhtar Mengal, reportedly died on way to the Civil Hospital from the jail. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Civil Hospital 9:50pm on Tuesday night, sources at the hospital said, adding that his first autopsy examination had been carried out at 3:00am in the presence of a judicial magistrate.

However, the sources in jail said on Monday that he had complained of high blood pressure and the jail authorities had sent him to the Civil Hospital where he arrived at 9:10pm. They said that at around 9:45pm, the hospital informed the jail authorities that the UTP had died of brain haemorrhage.

Gichki was arrested, along with three others, on April 2, 2005 from his residence in Defence Housing Authority by the Anti-narcotics Force (ANF), which had claimed of having seized 10.45 kilograms of heroin from his possession.

The ANF had made the arrest on a lead given by an alleged drug trafficker, Ahudu Manliki, a Nigerian, arrested by the ANF at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport while attempting to smuggle out 12.6kg heroin.

Gichki along with Rehmat Wali, Salim Khan and Shahid Ahmed was booked in the drug case (FIR No. 13/2005) by the ANF. He was being tried by the special court for Control of Narcotics Substances.

The first postmortem examination was carried out in the presence of a judicial magistrate by Dr Jabbar, Prof Farhat Mirza and Dr Kaleem Shaikh, In-charge of the Medicolegal Section of the CHK. Following the examination, viscera taken from the body were sent to the chemical laboratory for a chemical report.

The order for a second autopsy examination was given by the provincial Health Secretary Prof Noshad Shaikh on the request from the family members of the deceased on Wednesday.

“I have constituted a special medical board, comprising Prof Makhdoom Pervez, Dr Ghulam Ali and Police Surgeon Irfan Qureshi,” Prof Shaikh said, stressing that 100 per cent accuracy of the autopsy report would be ensured.

He said that the jail authorities had not provided the medical history of the victim while handing over the body to the officials concerned at the Civil Hospital.

“In fact, the jail officials told us that he was some small-time drug peddler from Lyari,” said a duty medicolegal officer.

However, family sources said that about two weeks back, Gichki was shifted from the Landhi Jail to the Central Prison. On January 28, at a hearing of his case, Gichki met his family members and expressed apprehensions about his life after being shifted to the Central Prison.

Subsequently, the victim’s wife had written an application to the IG Prisons expressing her apprehensions about her husband’s life, said the counsel for the deceased.

The victim’s family came to know about his death from a report appearing in newspapers, the counsel added.

Meanwhile, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, chief of the Balochistan National Party, has termed Gichki’s death ‘state terrorism’.

He claimed that Gichki had been picked up by a government agency last year.

He claimed that “the government is trying to exert pressure on us and wants to create obstruction in the way of our national struggle.”

MQM: The MQM Rabita Committee has expressed its heartfelt grief over the death of Hasan Gichki.

In a press release, it maintained that it was responsibility of the jail authorities to protect prisoners.

It terming the death of Gichki ‘a tragic incident’, and urged the president, prime minister, as well as the governor, chief minister and home minister of Sindh to order a high-level inquiry.