KARACHI - Police on Saturday arrested a transgender allegedly involved in the murder of a youth in the city.

Twenty-four-year-old Rashid Baloch, son of Abdur Rasheed Baloch, a resident of Lyari, was found dead near Jheel Park in the limits of Ferozabad Police Station on May 30. The body of the boy was found in a suitcase. Locals had informed the police about the presence of a suspicious suitcase in the locality. The police reached the scene and found a body in the suitcase. The police later registered FIR No 258/17 against unidentified persons and started investigation.

The police started investigating the matter with the help of the victim’s cell phone and social media account. The police investigators managed to trace transgender Shahzad alias Azna with the help of the victim’s cell phone data and social media account and arrested him. The transgender “confessed” to the murder of the youth during the initial interrogation.

According to SP Dr Rizwan, police investigators were able to establish that the victim had been in a regular touch with a person for the last few days. This person left for Tauheed Commercial in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) on May 29 night after a conversation with the victim over the phone.

The police finally traced the transgender with the help of the cell phone data and arrested him during a raid on his apartment at Tauheed Commercial. Police investigators said that CCTV cameras installed at the apartment confirmed that the victim and the accused had a scuffle before the murder.

The police investigators said that transgender Shahzad and his co-accused Taha, who is also a transgender, were trying to blackmail the victim to extort money from him. “Rashid started fighting with us instead of paying us money. However, during the fight, Taha managed to control him with a rope and then we started beating him up. Unfortunately, he died during the beating,” the arrested transgender said. “Then we decided to throw his body out. We packed his body into a suitcase, called a cab and threw it near Jheel Park.”

Police investigators said the victim had become friends with the accused over a social networking site and this was not the first time when transgender Shahzad was blackmailing him. Shahzad had extorted money from the victim several times in the past. He demanded more money from his prey and killed him when he refused, the police investigators revealed. The police investigators, however, were trying to arrest the other accused Tahah.

SEVERAL HELD IN TARGETED RAIDS

Police and the Rangers claimed to have arrested 19 suspects in separate targeted raids in different parts of the city here on Saturday. The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel arrested absconders, Mursaleen, Sarwar, Talha Qureshi and Faisal Qureshi. They later released Faisal Qureshi after presented them his bail papers.

CTD officials said those arrested were involved in target killings and they belonged to MQM-London.

The Pakistan Rangers, Sindh arrested seven suspects, including two political workers of MQM-London and MQM-Haqiqi. The Rangers spokesperson said the Rangers carried out raids in Saudabad and Madina Colony and arrested MQM-London worker Usman who was involved in extortion and forced hide collection. A worker of MQM-Haqiqi, Naeem aka Chotoo, was involved in the killing of 16 workers of a rival political party.

The Rangers arrested five other suspects, including Lyari gang war members Gul Hassan and Muhammad Faraz and drug peddlers Sajid and Sheraz, from Pak Colony and Site Super Highway areas.

Separately, the Rangers arrested a robber-cum-kidnapper, Ali Hussain alias Sadat, from Saudabad. The Rangers spokesperson claimed that weapons, ammunition, drugs and booty were also recovered from those arrested.

Karachi police claimed to have arrested nine more suspects during separate targeted raids in different parts of the city.