Police accused of killing five men in ‘fake encounter’
HYDRABAD: The Ghotki district police, which is arguably fraying around the seams in its combat against dacoits of the riverine forest, shot dead five suspected robbers in an allegedly fake encounter in Ubauro taluka on Wednesday.
While the police claimed that the slain suspects engaged the police in an exchange of fire on Qadirpur link road, the families of the deceased allege that they were first detained and then killed in a staged encounter. The A-Section police SHO Ayub Dogar, who led the encounter, told the media that all of the slain suspects had criminal record and were booked in multiple FIRs. There were no reports of casualty sustained by the police.
The slain persons have been identified as brothers Ikhtiar Solangi and Muhammad Sachal Solangi, Kajlo Chachar, Irfan Chajjan and Ali Akbar Kalhoro. Four of them lived in Ghotki while Kalhoro hailed from Shikarpur district. The bodies were shifted to Civil Hospital Ghotki which remained surrounded by the cops. No family member had turned up to receive the bodies from the mortuary till late in the evening.
The SHO told the media that Chachar was booked in 21 FIRs in various police stations, Chajjan and Kalhoro in three cases each and the slain Solangi brothers in one case each. The police also claimed recovery of pistols and rifles from possession of the killed suspects.
Meanwhile, dozens of women and children from Solangi family staged a protest in Ghotki blaming the police for killing their men in staged encounter. “Our innocent men have been killed,” a woman wailed. She told the local media that the two brothers left home on Tuesday to visit Sehwan but never came back.
A daughter of one of the killed brothers, appearing to be less than 10 years of age, made an innocent demand for returning back her father. “He told me that he was going to Sehwan and he would bring something for me.”
A woman said last night they called Ikhtiar Solangi over the phone but his number was switched off. Amid the protest, the wife of one of the slain persons fell unconscious with women surrounding her trying to wake her up.
A relative of Solangi brothers told the media that Sachal and Ikhtiar were shuttering labourers. They also took contracts of constructing homes. Sachal recently completed construction of a building in two years, he added. According to him, Ikhtiar recently tried to take contracts for construction of the police check posts in the riverine forest where sporadic police operations against the dacoits are going on. He had even met a police official in that regard. Ikhtiar’s son claimed that he spoke to his father over phone around 8pm on Tuesday night when the brother had reached Sukkur district after visiting the shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA). Over an hour later the family once again called mobile numbers of the two brothers but their phones were switched off. The protesting family demanded action against the police who killed their men.