KARACHI - Three fishermen lost their lives when their boat capsized near Manora Island on Saturday.

According to police and rescue organisations, a boat carrying total 12 people to Manora Island overturned close to the shore. Three people drowned. However, rescuers and Edhi divers managed to save the remaining nine persons. The bodies of those killed were later recovered and shifted to Civil Hospital, Karachi for medico-legal formalities.

The victims were identified as 55-year-old Sakhi Muhammad, Haroon, 50, and 45-year-old Muhammad Moosa.

They were the residents of Macchar Colony of Docks area and Ibrahim Hyderi.

Police said that all the remaining nine fishermen, who were saved by the rescuers, were out of danger and were discharged from the hospital after the provision of first aid.

Police told that a group of fishermen had left Kemari for fishing as per routine when their boat capsized, adding that the cause behind the incident was yet to be ascertained. The bodies of the deceased fishermen were later handed over to their families. This was the second incident of drowning to have taken place in less than a week as earlier on May 14, four friends had lost their lives while picnicking at Karachi’s Hawks Bay.

‘Murderers’ of Christian

 friend get bail

Meanwhile, five friends, who have been accused of being involved in a cold-blooded murder of their young Christian friend last week, have got a protective bail before arrest from a court. “It has been confirmed that they have got protective bail from a court,” said Station Investigation Officer (SIO) of the Mehmoodabad police station Inspector Nusrat Hussain Shah while talking to The Nation on Saturday.

“But this is not at all worrying because when they will go to the court for the confirmation of their bail, the judge will definitely cancel their bail and then we will arrest all of them from the court’s premises,” Hussain added.

24-year-old Shalem was found dead under mysterious circumstances from an empty apartment in Mehmoodabad on the night between Saturday and Sunday last week when he had left his home to party with his six friends.

But he did not returned alive, and his family found him dead at National Medical Centre on Korangi Road while his friends disappeared. The deceased’s family suspected that his friends were involved in his murder, and, therefore, nominated all six of them in the FIR.

Police, however, has so far managed to arrest only one friend, namely Ahmed who had arrived at the hospital shortly after the deceased’s body was shifted to the hospital for medico-legal formalities. Though no mark of torture was found on the victim’s body, doctors and police investigators are waiting for the chemical examination report to ascertain the actual cause of the death.

“No doubt, it was not a natural death as what his friends earlier told the family that he died of heart attack or committed suicide, but it is 100 percent murder,” explained an investigating officer, Hussain. “But we are yet to establish how actually he was killed and why.” The officer, while giving details of the information extracted from Ahmed, said all six friends had taken some tablets, but Shalem could not survive. “May be Ahmed is telling the truth, but until and unless we have a chemical examination report and the statements of all six suspects, we cannot reach any conclusion,” said the officer.

 A case under Sections 302/34 has already been registered at the Mehmoodabad police station on behalf of victim’s father Pervez Masih against his friends. The family had alleged that Shalem’s friends had given some poison to him. The family is seeking justice.

“We want justice,” said the victim’s father. “It was a preplanned murder as Shalem’s friends would often invite him to night parties,” he said, and added, “Shalem did not want to join them as he had to make arrangements for the Mother’s Day celebrated on Sunday, but when his friends insisted, he decided to join them. If they are really innocent so why they have hidden themselves and why they have taken protective bails from the court,” the victim’s father questioned.

 “Definitely, they are the murderers, but my question is, why did they kill my son and what wrong had he done to them?”

NAB nabs five for china-cutting

Meanwhile, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday said it had apprehended five persons for being involved in china-cutting in the metropolis. The arrests were made during predawn raids conducted at various places in the city by different teams of bureau. 

Three Karachi Development Authority (KDA) officials and two others, allegedly linked to china cutting cases, were those taken into custody, said NAB spokesperson.

He added that the arrested persons had been nominated in Reference No. 14/2017 recently submitted in Accountability Court in Karachi. 

The spokesperson further said that those held were charged jointly for corruption and corrupt practices and illegal activities on precious government lands, by way of China cutting and illegal allotment of land in amenity areas within the limits of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi. In connivance with each other, they illegally and fraudulently managed to create 296 small residential plots in 23 amenity areas, consequently causing the loss of approximately Rs1.5 billion to the national exchequer.

“Muhammad Idrees and Mushtaq Iqbal allegedly conspired with KDA officials and got plots transferred in their names illegally which were further transferred to general public,” he said, and added that Muhammad Jumman, Akhter Rasheed and Syed Nasir Hussain Kazmi were the officials of KDA’s Recovery Department who prepared illegal transfer challans and thereby facilitated the scam. “Along with these persons, total 23 others were sent for prosecution, out of whom nine persons are on pre-arrest bail, two are in judicial custody already, while teams have been dispatched for the arrest of remaining seven absconders,” he concluded.