Constable Arrested As Social Media Protests Alleged Killing Of Student In 'Fake Encounter'

A constable has been arrested after an F. Sc student, Arsalan Mehsud, was allegedly shot dead by the policeman in plain clothes while the victim was returning from a tuition center in Orangi Town, Karachi on Monday night.

According to the family of the deceased and the initial police investigation, the slain student was returning home along with his friend, Yasir, who was injured in the incident. The police officer, Tauheed, who has been accused of killing the student, was on an intelligence duty with his friend Umair when the firing incident took place.

West Zone DIG took notice of the brutal incident and formed an investigation committee. An FIR has been lodged under sections 34 (common intention), 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 302 (murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The further police reports indicate that constable Tauheed has been arrested and SHO Orangi, Azam Gopang has been suspended.

According to the FIR, the victim’s family believes that the incident was a mugging gone wrong, while probe into the matter has revealed that the police official, Tauheed, who reportedly shot Arslan Mehsud, was on an intelligence duty when the incident occurred.

Arsalan’s father, Liaquat Mehsud, also alleged SHO Gopang as the perpetrator of the incident in a video posted on Twitter where he can be seen standing by his son’s dead body. He affirmed that his son was neither a thief nor a dacoit and was merely coming back from tuition classes. He further claimed that Orangi police station’s SHO Gopang killed him in a ‘fake encounter’.

While talking to media, Arsalan’s uncle asserted that Tauheed and his friend tried to snatch the victim’s bike and shot him when he resisted.

Different political groups in Karachi have condemned the ‘police’s brutality’ and have been campaigning against the incident on social media.

Netizens say that this ‘police encounter’ reminds them of Naqeebullah Mehsud's case, which is one of the most high profile cases involving police officers. Mehsud along with four others were brutally murdered at a farmhouse in Karachi’s Shah Latif Town on January 13, 2018.  The then Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice on January 19 and the encounter turned out to be staged.

The Pashtuns residents of Karachi responded to the latest incident on social media, saying that if Rao Anwar had been charged for his crimes this tragedy could have been avoided. They added that Sindh police killed a young child, Arsalan and then leveled false allegations against him. The practice of ‘fake encounters’ targeting the members of Pashtun community is not new. From enforced disappearances to fake encounters, there is a ceaseless cycle of crimes against them.