Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah demanded on Saturday a report from the Sindh Inspector General of Police Syed Kaleem Imam over the killing of a local leader of a Sindhi nationalist party, Irshad Ranjhani. The government took action after a video of his bleeding to death on a public street went viral.
He has also questioned how Ranjhani was killed in a public marketplace and why he wasn’t shifted to hospital on time. He has also inquired about the number of arrests made in the aftermath of the incident.
He has also decided to request a judicial investigation into his death.
Ranjhani was shot dead on Wednesday in Bhains Colony and left to die on the public street as people looked on. No one took him to the hospital or offered aid. When the police arrived, they took him to the police station instead of the hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
The man who shot him, Union Council Chairman Raheem Shah, says that Ranjhani was a thief and had been following him after he withdrew Rs3 million from a bank near Nursery. He said two men on a motorcycle intercepted him near the Bhains Colony turning off the National Highway.
Raheem Shah, who belongs to the PML-N, said he opened fire on Ranjhani, who was later identified as president of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek’s Karachi chapter, after he saw him reaching for his pistol.
“The two men showed Raheem Shah a pistol and asked for the cash [he had just withdrawn from the bank] after which he opened fire on Ranjhani from his car in self-defence,” said East DIG Amir Farooqi.
According to Raheem Shah, he told the police about the incident but the police came very late due to traffic and took the injured to the police station first instead of the hospital.
The police have obtained the phone records and location data from Ranjhani’s phone and it confirms that he and Raheem Shah travelled the same route at the same time, starting from Nursery. The police have also revealed that Ranjhani had a criminal record and had been arrested four times before, including once in North Nazimabad in 2003 and once in Defence in 2008. There are cases registered against him for robbery, dacoity and possession of illegal arms at the Defence, Bahadurabad and North Nazimabad police stations .
“Whether he was a criminal or not, everyone deserves to get immediate treatment at a hospital under such circumstances,” argued Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani. “The Sindh government will take action against the people who were involved in the murder of Ranjhani,” he told the media.
While talking to SAMAA TV, former Citizen-Police Liaison Committee chief Ahmed Chinoy said that “In such cases, someone from the bank is usually involved. Someone from the bank would have informed Ranjhani about Shah carrying money.”
But Ranjhani’s friends say he was a member of a political party, not a thief. He was killed over a personal dispute, they say.
According to his family, Ranjhani went missing three days ago and on Thursday his body was handed over to them. He hails from Dadu and was visiting Karachi.
Protests erupted after news spread of Ranjhani’s death and demonstrators outside the Karachi Press Club want an FIR registered against Raheem Shah, the Shah Latif SHO and the Bin Qasim Town DSP. Activists of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek have been protesting since Friday.
According to the protesters, Ranjhani was shot twice by Raheem Shah but was still alive when he was taken to the Shah Latif police station. They claim he was shot eight more times by police officials, after which he died. Officials deny this.