1 Killed in gunfight near police station

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A nephew of former Senate chairman Mohammadmian Soomro was shot and killed in a gunfight near a police station early Monday morning, police told Dawn. The deceased, identified as Barrister Malik Fahad, was gunned down near the Shalimar Police Station in Sector F-10. Three other persons were also said to be injured in the pre-dawn shootout.

But while the Shalimar station house officer has been suspended, and a complaint lodged, no FIR has been registered in the matter as yet.

Top police officials are keeping mum over the case and sources in the department say that is because the matter involves two extremely well-connected groups of the city.

Officials said that on Sunday night, police were summoned to the scene of an altercation near a cafe in Sector F-11. Reportedly, an argument had broken out between a man and woman, after which the woman’s bodyguards assaulted the man in question.

After area police took both parties to the police station, officers said, a group of the woman’s supporters also arrived there. At this point, Barrister Fahad also arrived to assist the woman, but did not press any charges.

Following an hour-long discussion, officials said, both sides agreed to settle the matter amicably and informed the duty officer that they had settled the matter among themselves. They then left the police station in two different vehicles – a Toyota Corolla and a Land Cruiser.

In the meantime, supporters of the man who had allegedly been assaulted by the woman’s bodyguards also reached the police station and were enraged by the condition of their comrade.

Police claimed the men chased down the vehicle carrying Malik Fahad and three other persons, including a driver, and managed to intercept it near the F-10/3 Service Road. The attackers then managed to flee the scene after shooting at the vehicle.

The injured were shifted to the Pakistan Institute for Medical Sciences, where Malik Fahad was pronounced dead, police said, adding that the situation at the hospital also became tense as the deceased’s friends and family members started gathering.

Police were called in to avoid a clash at the hospital, they said, adding that after initial treatment, the injured men were whisked away by their supporters, for fear of more attacks.

Sources said the man whose supporters allegedly attacked Malik Fahad and his companions is also an extremely well-connected individual with close links to several politicians and bureaucrats.

A police team also visited the victim’s house, officials said, to follow-up regarding the complaint lodged by family on Monday and personnel have been deployed at his residence to ensure the safety of his family. The victim’s family could not be reached for comment.

But while sources in the department claim that various teams have been formed to track down and arrest the attackers, an FIR over the murder has yet to be registered.

Police said the Shalimar station house officer was suspended by the senior superintendent of police (SSP Operations) on the orders of the inspector general. According to insiders, he was punished for his failure to take preventive action – under law, police can round up and arrest any groups of people if they fear a clash is imminent. Sources said that both parties had given a written undertaking, following which they were released by police, as per practice, adding that the SHO was suspended in an effort to show high-ups that police are doing their job.

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