KARACHI - Police launched an operation against the land mafia in Madhu and Hussain Hazara Goth in which some six people, including two cops were gunned down in an exchange of fire.

Police have so far failed to arrest rest of the culprits who managed to escape under the cover of firing. It initiated inquiry ahead of the involvement of police with the gangsters associated with Sindh-based nationalist parties.

It is worth mentioning here that DSP Qasim Ghauri along with ASI Asif lost their lives in an encounter with the culprits of land mafia on Thursday morning. However, SHOs of the Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malik Saleem, Bahadurabad SHO Haider Zaidi, ASI Aslam, ASI Amanullah and police constable Azhar were also wounded.

SHO Saleem remain admitted with critical wounds in a private hospital along with other wounded police officers. He would be the prime suspect who patronised the mafia.

The suspected SHO had earlier been suspended by the police high ups following the murder case of Shahzeb Khan when he was posted to Darakshan police station as SHO.

The funeral prayers of cops were offered at Police Headquarters, Garden. Funeral prayer of DSP Ghauri was offered at headquarter on the arrival of his son Farrukh from the US. However, the body of another martyred ASI Asif was moved to his hometown Sialkot for burial.

Initial investigation revealed that there was a dispute between the two groups of land mafias. One group is lead by Pariyal Shah and the other by Arshad, backed by the nationalist parties of the Sindh, said DIG Tahir Naveed. He added that the inquiry team is trying to ascertain the involvement of police personnel with the groups of land mafias and those found guilty will be punished according to the law.

DIG Naveed said the action against SHO Saleem will be taken accordingly as per the law if he found involved guilty. Police investigators were also seeking the postmortem report of DSP Ghauri. He further said that police took few suspects into custody for questioning and got the clues helpful in investigation.

Police also took other departments concerned into confidence, including Anti-Encroachment Cell of police, water board and city government to carry out the operation against encroachment in the Madho Goth, Hussain Hazara Goth and surrounding areas for removal of illegal Goths.