KARACHI - A rickshaw driver, who self immolated himself on Saturday after being asked for extortion from a police officer, was laid to rest on Monday with opposition and ruling parties playing blame game over the death.

Muhammad Khalid Yousuf, 28, set himself on fire outside the Karachi Police Office in Saddar in protest against a traffic police officer, ASAI Muhammad Hanif. He was fined when he refused to bribe the officer.

Khalid succumbed to his injuries during treatment on Monday after being treated at Burns Ward of the Civil Hospital for past two days.

The body was handed over to the family after medico-legal process and later his funeral prayers was offered at a mosque near his residence in Model Colony.

He was laid to rest at a graveyard in Model Colony. Besides his family members, relatives and neighbouring people, a large number of politicians including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Khurram Sher Zaman, MPA Raja Azhar and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s senior leader Rana Ahsan were also presented at the funeral occasion.

The participants of the funeral occasion while holding placards also staged a protest against the incident as well as traffic police outside the Model Colony graveyard which caused of massive traffic jam. They also shouted slogans against the traffic police. A large number of Rangers and police also reached the protest site and dispersed the protesters after assuring them of their fully cooperation.

The police have registered two cases at the Saddar police station. According to Saddar SHO Shabbir Haider, an FIR No. 273/18 was registered over suicide while an FIR No. 274/18 was registered against a traffic police official for asking for bribes and causing the suicide. The officer said that the accused traffic police official has been arrested who in his initial statement said that he fined the rickshaw driver as he never had documents.

Earlier during the funeral occasion, PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman while talking to the media said that the police forced the poor people, especially drivers to pay them the extorted money. The police fined them if they refused to pay the extortion money. “Deceased rickshaw driver was forced to commit suicide as he was extorted at least three times after being targeted,” the PTI leader claimed. “My question is with the police that how many MNAs, MPAs and luxury vehicles have been fined? Only the middle-class people are being targeted.”

He said that it is a routine in Karachi that the traffic police used to lift their motorcycles and then released them after getting extortion money from the motorcyclists. He also appealed to the provincial government to conduct a transparent inquiry over the matter. “I do promise with the heirs of the deceased rickshaw driver that I will help them in getting justice. I will also approach the IGP Sindh and Additional IG Karachi and I will also provide them a lawyer if they needed,” he said. Police officials said that the cases have been registered while further investigation was underway

Meanwhile, the advisor to chief minister Sindh Waqar Mehdi has rejected allegations leveled against the traffic police officials for only issuing challan to poor transporters and refraining from challans of luxury vehicles.

Mehdi while condoling from the family of the rickshaw driver blamed PTI Karachi chief for following footsteps of MQM-P for taking advantage over the deaths of innocents.

Any officer who would exceed from his power will be dealt strictly but on the other hand the figures over challan given by PTI leader were against the facts, he said adding that in the current month, 1334 land cruisers, over 131,000 new brand or luxury vehicles were challaned in the city.

He asked the PTI lawmaker to issue any statement after verifying the facts.