KARACHI  -  A departmental inquiry has been initiated against the traffic police official who was suspended for extorting money from a rickshaw driver who sprinkled oil on his body and set himself alight near the Karachi Police Office (KPO) in Saddar area in a protest after a traffic police official fined him after he refused to bribe him.

The incident took place on Saturday night when a traffic police official ASI Muhammad Hanif of Saddar Traffic Police Section fined a rickshaw driver, namely Shahid. The rickshaw driver appealed the media and the higher authorities in order to get justice; however, he then reached outside the KPO where he set himself on fire with sprinkling oil on his body.

After self-immolation, the police officials and the ambulances immediately reached the site of the incident and shifted him to the Burns Ward of the Civil Hospital, Karachi where according to doctors, the rickshaw driver was in critical condition as he received more than 50 per cent burn injuries.

Before self-immolation, the rickshaw driver also appealed to the higher authorities in which he asked to take action against the traffic police from stopping them to extort money from the poor rickshaw drivers.

In his letter, he stated that the same traffic police officer to extorted Rs100 from him on daily basis but he fined him after he was unable to pay him Rs100. “He fined me after I paid Rs50 to him,” said the frustrated driver in a statement went viral on the social media. “I took a decision to end up my life as I have been fed up with daily challans and extortion money.”

The injured rickshaw driver’s family claimed that Shahid was currently busy getting preparations for his wedding but maybe he could not be a groom because he is not in condition to get married and the traffic police official was only the responsible for this.

The family also demanded the higher authorities to take stern action against the traffic police official responsible for the incident and make it a example for others.

IGP Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam also took a notice of the incident and ordered the DIG traffic to carry out an inquiry into the matter and submit a report to him. The senior police officials also suspended the ASI Hanif of the traffic police and initiated inquiry against him.

Additional IG Karachi Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh also reached burns ward on Sunday to pay a visit to the rickshaw driver who suffered severe burns and also tried to compensate the family but the family refused it. “I tried myself to provide financial assistance to them but they refused,” he said. Police officials said that the department inquiry against the police official responsible for the incident has been initiated.