KARACHI, (Dawn): Five young men — two brothers and their three relatives — were killed in Mowachh Goth early Monday morning followed by what police described as an encounter with the suspected killers that left one of them dead.
The police investigators linked the five killings with the ongoing gang warfare in Lyari.
The Mochko police said the bodies of Mohammed Ismail, 30, his brother Javed Hussain, 30, their maternal uncle Taj Mohammed and their cousins Shoaib Jan and Faisal Gul were found outside their home in Brohi Mohalla of Mowachh Goth.
The victims were relatives of a suspected gangster, Lala Orangi-wala, one of the main characters of a gang led by Noor Mohammed aka Baba Ladla, said City SSP Faisal Bashir Memon.
They were allegedly killed by the Sheraz Comrade Group, which was supposed to be a rival gang of the Ladla group, he added.
The deceased had shifted from the Singhu Lane area of Lyari to Mowachh Goth only 10 to 15 days back, added the senior police officer.
The SSP explained that they were in fact ‘invited’ by the Sheraz gang for talks somewhere in the area on Monday night. But they were gunned down, he said. A single bullet each was pumped into the head of four victims while the other victim sustained more than one gunshot wound.
The bodies were later dumped near their homes, he said.
The SSP told Dawn that so far they had not found any criminal record of the victims. In fact one of the deceased was stated to be a boxer, he added.
An FIR (62/2014) was registered at the Mochko police station under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of Munir Ahmed, brother of victims Ismail and Shoaib, who nominated Nasir Baloch, Saeed, Kamran alias Kami, Nazeer, Asif, Sultan and Majeed.
However, complainant Munir told the police that his brothers, Ismail and Shoaib, as well as their maternal uncle, Taj Mohammed, were boxers who played for different government and non-governmental organisations in the city, while their father, Sher Mohammed, and uncle, Sher Jan, were also boxers, associated with different organisations.
Addressing a press conference at his office, the SSP told the media that the bodies had been dumped at around 1:15am and 20 minutes later, the police were informed about the gruesome murder.
He added that shortly afterwards, contingents of police surrounded the area so that no one could escape. It was around 11am when the police was fired at and an exchange of fire with the suspects ensued. During the shoot-out, one of them later identified as Nasir Baloch was gunned down, while his two accomplices Nazar Mohammed and Abdul Wahid were arrested.
The officer said it emerged later that Nasir Baloch was one of the suspected killers nominated in the FIR of the five killings. Besides, Nasir had been declared absconder in cases of murder, kidnapping for ransom and extortion, he said, adding that he was one of the key figures of the Sheraz Comrade gang.
In reply to a question, the SSP said that the gang warfare intensified over the past 10 to 12 days in parts of Lyari where a search operation had been conducted and four new pickets had been set up. However, he was quick to claim that only 10 to 15 per cent area of Lyari including Rangiwara, Dhobi Ghat-Usmanabad and Ali Mohammed Mohallah remained disturbed.
Asked the effectiveness of the targeted operation during which around 42 suspected criminals had been killed in ‘encounters’ only in Lyari while the number of civilian casualties was much higher, the City SSP said it would take time to ‘clear the mess of past 15 years’ in the old city area. He said there was a ‘substantial’ decline in number of killings, extortion activities, kidnapping for ransom, street crime on Mauripur Road and containers theft since the launch of the operation.