KARACHI - Families of two suspected bandits killed by police in an ‘encounter’ held a protest demonstration here on Sunday and blocked the Shara-e-Pakistan.

They said that police had killed their loved ones in a fake encounter.

The two young men, wearing white shalwar kameez, had been shot dead by the Shara-e-Faisal police on main Rashid Minhas Road on Saturday evening.

Police had said that both of them were street criminals and were busy looting the people. 

It had also said it had recovered arms, ammunitions and looted valuables from their possession. 

The bodies of slain youth were shifted to a morgue for identification where their families identified them on Sunday as Muhammad Iqbal and Ismail.

Later their families gathered near Ayesha Manzil on Shara-e-Pakistan and staged a protest by blocking the main road. A large number of neighbours and relatives also joined them.

They burnt tyres on the road and kept traffic blocked for hours.

The protesters claimed that both their loved ones were innocent and had no criminal records. "Both of them were tailors by profession," they said, and alleged, "Police killed them in a fake encounter."

They demanded the police high-ups take strict action against those who killed the youth in a fake encounter.

When police officials reached the site and assured protestors of their complete cooperation, the latter ended their protest.

Police refute allegation

On the other hand, police officials refuted all the allegations levelled by the protesters. "Both the youth were criminals," Shara-e-Faisal SHO Sarwar Commando maintained. "We have private complainant in a case." The officer said that the encounter had taken place on city's busiest road; not in a jungle. "Hundreds of people were there when my jawans encountered them after they fired at the police first," the officer explained.

"The slain robbers had first looted a doctor and then were looting a family in a car and everyone saw them."

He said that not only this, but police had also checked their criminal record and found out number of victims who were looted by them in the past.

He said that the case against them had been registered while further investigation was underway.

The two policemen, including ASI Amjad, were suspended after they manhandled a senior journalist of Express News - Sajid Rauf, while he was covering a police encounter while Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial had also ordered the DIG East to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit to him a report within 24 hours of journalist’s manhandling.

Our Staff Reporter