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Violence erupts in Lines Area after woman shot dead by ‘robbers’

Violence erupts in Lines Area after woman shot dead by ‘robbers’

KARACHI: A 35-year-old woman was shot dead and her husband injured in Lines Area on Sunday afternoon apparently by two robbers, triggering a protest by area people who assumed it to be an attempt to kidnap a child from her custody, police and witnesses said.

Brigade police officials said Aqeela Aman, who was carrying the child along with her husband, was intercepted by two men in Lines Area. The suspects tried to snatch cash from her. As they put up resistance, the suspects opened fire on them and fled with the looted cash. The child remained safe in the incident.

She sustained critical bullet wounds and was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival, said Dr Seemin Jamali, head of the emergency department of the JPMC. She sustained the injuries on right side of the mandible, added Dr Jamali.

The incident triggered a violent protest by area residents. They came out on New Preedy Street, burnt tyres, hurled stones at vehicles and blocked the busy road for several hours. Talking to the media, residents alleged that the suspects tried to kidnap the baby from its mother and she was gunned down on resisting it.

However, the police denied it and claimed that the incident appeared to be the outcome of a robbery atempt in which one of the close relatives of the victim might be involved.

Brigade police SHO Raja Tanveer told Dawn that Aqeela had sold her property recently, which was allegedly being opposed by her brother Zeeshan. The police officer claimed that the woman had gone to take money from the buyer of the property. She got around Rs400,000 from the buyer and was returning home when allegedly her brother and his accomplice, both wearing masks, tried to snatch the money from her. As she put up resistance, the suspects shot and killed her and escaped with the cash.

The officer said that her brother had orchestrated the robbery.

Late on Sunday evening, police issued a statement that after the killing of the woman, people gathered at New Preedy Street considering it to be an attempt of kidnapping of her six-month-old child and on resistance, she was fired at.

“However, after recording statements on her injured but stable husband and her brother (eyewitness), it transpired that it was a family dispute,” said Karachi-East SSP Faisal Abdullah.

After selling the house, the couple got Rs400,000 but her husband’s brothers wanted their share in it. “Both brothers tried to get the amount from them but on their resistance, fired at both, killing her and injuring her husband,” added the officer.

FIR registered

On Sunday night, additional inspector general of Karachi police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar told Dawn that “baseless news was circulating in the media about the killing of a mother during an attempt to kidnap her child”.

“Actually, it was a family dispute over property between the brothers as per the 154 statement of the deceased woman’s husband, Aman,” added the city police chief.

The Brigade police registered an FIR (210/2016) on a complaint of Aman under Sections 302, 392 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code against Zeeshan, one of the brothers of the complainant and others.

The Karachi police chief said they had two witnesses, brothers of the victim woman.

Schools’ security

Meanwhile, the South district police on Sunday wrote a letter to the administrations of over 400 schools, both public and private, located in the district, advising them not to be panicked by rumours of children’s kidnapping.

“The letter has been written to the schools to ease the atmosphere,” said SSP-South Saqib Ismail Memoon.

The SSP said: “There have been several posts on social media in recent days, alerting the public to a number of alleged incidents of attempted kidnappings of children in district South of Karachi. We have reviewed all such cases brought to our notice and have found that there is no truth in these allegations.”

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2016

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