Allegation War: Rangers Fake Encounter or Target Killers Hiding in Safe Houses
KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and security establishment relationship strained further on Friday when the party accused Rangers of killing its workers in what it described as a fake encounter the other night, inviting a strong reaction from the paramilitary force which claimed that all the four killed were terrorists hiding in a ‘safe houses’ on the directives of the party.
Rangers claimed to have killed the four suspects on Thursday night in an ‘encounter’ on Northern Bypass, near Sohrab Goth.
The situation turned tense after the MQM identified three of them as its workers who, it claimed, had been arrested by Rangers a month ago.
At a press conference, MQM leaders termed it extrajudicial killing in a “staged encounter” and announced a ‘day of mourning’ across the country on Saturday.
Senior party leader Dr Farooq Sattar appealed to traders, transporters and industrialists to keep their businesses closed to express solidarity with the victims of “extrajudicial killing”. He said the MQM would hold a rally on Sunday in Liaquatabad which would proceed to the Quaid’s mausoleum in protest against the killings.
He said Rangers had killed the four people while claiming that they were involved in the murder of a lawyer. He identified three of them as Zohaibullah, Muhammad Adeel and Shahid Ghulam and claimed that they had been in Rangers’ custody for months and petitions for their recovery were filed in the Sindh High Court.
The identity of the fourth could not be ascertained.
Dr Sattar accused Rangers of lying before the high court that they had not arrested the three MQM workers. “If this was a [genuine] encounter then why the bodies of our three workers bore marks of torture,” he asked.
He said the names of the three workers were in a list of 150 party activists who had been the victims of ‘enforced disappearance’. “They (Rangers) have started killing the ‘missing workers’ and they gave us three bodies,” he added.
Dr Sattar said the extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, ban on speeches of MQM chief Altaf Hussain and continuing media trial were part of a ‘poll rigging’ before the local government elections.
He appealed to the army chief, the prime minister, the Karachi corps commander and the interior minister to save the lives of 147 missing MQM workers who, he claimed, were in the custody of Rangers and police, and produce them before court.
On the other hand, Rangers dismissed the MQM allegations as propaganda, misleading and against the truth.
“These terrorists were involved in the killing of MQM legal aid committee’s member Advocate Hasnain Bukhari and reports suggest that they were hiding in safe houses under party directives. Same like the killer of Waqas Shah, who died during a raid on the MQM Nine Nero headquarters, Asif Ali was at large after the incident and he was arrested by Rangers from Shahdadpur,” the paramilitary force said in a statement.
In a separate statement, Rangers came up with details of charges against the deceased MQM workers killed in the ‘encounter’.
“All four terrorists were also involved in extortion in Korangi Industrial Area and part of Raees Mama’s hit-men team,” it said.
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