KARACHI - A worker of Muttahida Qaumi Movement accused of target killing, died in police custody on Saturday.

The victim 24-year-old Syed Faraz Alam, son of Syed Nayyar Alam died in custody of investigation wing of the Khokhrapar police, District Malir.

Korangi Industrial Area (KIA) police had registered a case against him for possessing illegal weapon. Later, KIA police had handed over him to investigation wing of the Khokhrapar police station. Police sources said that he was not nominated in any criminal case, however the police claimed that he confessed killings during interrogation.

According to the SHO Khokhrapar police station Dhani Buksh, during interrogation by KIA police, he revealed to have killed four, two Baloch, one Kutchi and one Sunni Tehreek person. “All murders took place in our premises, our station’s investigation wing later took his custody and initiated further investigations,” he added.

DSP Baqi Rind claimed that the accused died when he was being taken to the City Courts. He added that when the police squad reached near Nursery area, he complained of pain in his chest after which he was taken to the hospital where he died. The police did not torture him but he died due to heart attack, he added.

Doctors at JPMC said that the accused was brought to hospital by police alive but died during treatment. Deputy executive director of JPMC Dr Seemin Jamali said that they shifted his body for medico-legal to ascertain the actual cause of death. After the autopsy, the exact cause of death could be determined.

On the other hand, family of the deceased claimed that Faraz had no link with any criminal activity and accused the police for torturing him to death.

While talking to media men victim’s younger Brother Hadi Alam said that Faraz was perfect and had no kind of disease. He added that we visited him in a police station and provided him a tooth paste and a brush. Due to police torture, he asked us for jail custody. He died after the police gave him toxic injection, Hadi alleged.

The family said that personnel in plainclothes abducted him on December 28, 2014 from near his house and later disclosed their arrests on January 2 by KIA police. Victim’s cousin Salman claimed that the police killed his brother as we failed to provide bribe. He alleged that different policemen had different demands. Rs1million, they demanded for his release, Rs50, 000 for jail custody and Rs4,000 to produce him before a court.”

A mob beat the investigation officer of the case, ASI Manzur Solangi who arrived at the hospital for the legal procedure, however, when asked about the allegations about demanding bribes, the investigation officers including Station Investigation Officer (SIO) Ali Abbasi, refused.

Meanwhile, Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Qadir Thebo took notice of the incident and constituted a four member inquiry team headed by District East police chief to probe the case. Over half dozen MQM workers have so far have been allegedly killed during custody since the Karachi operation began.

MQM Comments: Leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Haider Abbas Rizvi while talking to the media at JPMC said that the party won’t accept any police inquiry into the death of their worker Faraz Alam, whom they claim was a victim of police torture. “We won’t accept an inquiry by the police against their own officers, who are the murderers of Faraz Alam. We request the Maqbool Baqar, the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court to take suo moto action on this killing. Rizvi said that it was a ‘custodial killing and claimed that medical reports state that Faraz was heavily tortured by the police.

While the police accused Faraz to be a target killer, Rizvi said that the 23-year-old was innocent and was falsely accused. “Every other day, the police are arresting MQM workers and demanding bribes in return for their release. The police have become a bhatta mafia.” In return for Faraz’s release, the police was demanding Rs 10 Lakh, he added. Rizvi said that when Faraz had disappeared, the family went to court and filed a petition but like many of the petitions of their workers who have gone missing, it went unheeded and unnoticed. Following the incident, tension prevailed in Khokhrapar and its surrounding areas where routine and commercial activities were suspended.