A local councillor of the Jamaat-i-Islami was shot dead and two party workers were injured while trying to mediate a dispute concerning illegal power connections in Karachi’s Surjani Town area late on Thursday night, according to police.
Surjani Police Station House Officer Amin Solangi told Dawn.com on Friday (today) that the incident occurred in Sector-4C, near the Faizan Ashiqan-i-Rasool Mosque. The officer said that the involvement of a “kunda (illegal electric connection) mafia” was suspected in the murder, ruling out any political motivation.
The victim was identified as Mohammed Habib, 61, and the injured were Syed Adnan, 43, and Muzamil, also known as Zaid.
Solangi explained that the victim had gone to Abdul Rahim Goth, a slum area in Surjani where illegal power connections were prevalent, to intervene in a dispute.
According to him, residents of the area purportedly make regular payments to certain officials as part of their arrangement.
However, Dawn.com could not independently verify this claim.
The Surjani police registered a first information report (FIR) earlier today on the complaint of the deceased’s son, Mohammed Hasan.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the police named Juni Bhai and five others (Aftab, Faisal, Adil, Amjad, and Kulharo) as suspects under Sections 34 (common intention), 302 (intentional murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 365 (kidnapping) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Hasan said his father served as the JI councillor in Union Council (UC) 7 of Surjani Town. He explained that residents of the area had reached out to his father regarding rampant illegal power connections. Subsequently, his father contacted UC Chairman Amin Ali Qazi, who assured him that he would soon arrive at the location to address the issue.
Hasan added that his father was inspecting some documents shared by one of the residents when a group of six to seven armed men, riding three motorcycles, appeared at the scene and began firing, causing Habib’s death.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his gunshot wounds.
JI warns of protest if no arrests in 48 hours
The funeral prayers were offered in Surjani Town earlier today with JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman leading the prayers.
Talking to the media on the occasion, the JI leader strongly criticised K-Electric for its “inability” to thwart the activities of the “kunda mafia” in the area.
He called upon the director general of the Sindh Rangers and Sindh police chief to apprehend those responsible for the councillor’s killing, issuing a warning that the party would initiate a protest if the culprits were not arrested within 48 hours.
The JI leader alleged that the mafia operated with the support of the government.
Qazi expressed the residents’ frustration with the alleged “mafia” operating in the area.
He claimed that such individuals were purportedly backed by a prominent political party and were involved in providing essential services such as electricity, water and gas in exchange for money.