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‘Education dept director’s murder linked to his job’

October 17, 2012

KARACHI, Oct 17: Police investigating the education director’s murder on Wednesday expressed doubt that the incident was linked to the ongoing wave of targeted killings on political, ethnic and sectarian grounds in the city.

While the investigation was under way to ascertain the exact motive, the police said with some certitude that the official was killed for his professional association and assignments.Education Director Shamim Khan was shot in the head after two armed men had arguments with him inside the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) education office in Hyderabad Colony on Jamshed Road.

“We have reason to believe that it (Shamim Khan’s murder) has nothing to do with the recent wave of targeted killings in the city,” said Additional IG Iqbal Mahmood, the Karachi police chief.“An investigation has already been initiated and the clues found by the police officers suggest that the killing was something to do with his profession. The attackers stayed inside the office, argued with him and ran away after shooting Mr Khan to death,” he said.

Initial findings showed that the gunmen demanded ‘some files’ and took the education director to an area within the education office building where they fired multiple shots at him, the police chief added.

The attackers also deprived a staffer of her gold bangle inside the office, but it was just to show that it was a mugging attempt, he said. “It was nothing like that. He was murdered for the reasons that are directly linked to his official assignments and association,” reiterated the police chief.

On Tuesday, the gunmen had held around 20 staff members of the KMC education department at gunpoint and later fired at the education director, according to the area police.

The officials said that Mr Khan was readying to leave for home at around 5.15pm when two of his friends came to see him.

Meanwhile, armed men walked into the office and held the staff at gunpoint. They fired three shots at the director education in the chest and head, causing his instant death. The police later found spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol at the crime scene.

The victim was laid to rest at the Sakhi Hassan graveyard after funeral prayers on Wednesday.

KMC Commissioner Matanat Ali Khan, teachers, officers and employees of the corporation, Karachi Development Authority and a large number of citizens attended the funeral prayers, according to an official statement.

“The deceased director was associated with the KMC education section since the beginning of his career,” said a KMC spokesman. “Over a year ago, he was removed from the office and asked to serve without any post. However, Mr Khan challenged that decision before the Sindh High Court and resumed the charge more than six months ago after winning a verdict in his favour.”

While the victim also faced corruption cases lodged with the anti-corruption department of Sindh and the National Accountability Bureau, he was exonerated in all the cases one after the other, he said.

Mr Khan had two wives and seven children.