Family of Karachi kid caught in crossfire demands justice

The family of a 10-year-old boy, who was killed on Friday after getting caught in an exchange of fire between police and an alleged criminal in Karachi, has demanded justice for their loss.

Ten-year-old Sajjad Khan had sustained a gunshot wound to the head after being caught in the crossfire that ensued when police say they came across a “wanted criminal” named Sher Zaman. The boy had later expired at the hospital.

Two policemen, another 12-year-old boy, and the suspect himself were also injured during the exchange of fire.

“It is correct that Sajjad Khan, 10, was shot dead during an exchange of fire but we do not know whose shot caused his death,” said Saddam Husain, a cousin of the victim.

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“We don’t have the money to file a case in the court,” said Husain, adding: “If we don’t get justice in this world, we will seek justice from the Almighty Allah.”

He said that the deceased was a grade three student and that his father is a rickshaw driver, who originally hails from Swat.

‘Child was hit by suspect’s shot’

The police today said that the deceased was killed by shots fired by the suspect, who has since been booked under terror and murder charges.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Zone Amir Farooqi told Dawnthat it was a “genuine” shoot-out. “Policemen got injured and they fired in self-defence,” he said. “The injured suspect fired around 12-15 shots and changed the magazine once.”

DIG Farooqi further said that the suspect, while fleeing, broke into a house and took the residents hostage. “The child (Sajjad) was hit by the firing of the suspect. This is corroborated by many eyewitnesses,” he said.

Quaidabad Station House Officer (SHO) Shoaib Qureshi said that the police have registered a case against the suspect, Sher Zaman, under murder and terror charges.

A first information report (FIR) of the incident has been registered under Sections 353, 324, 302 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code as well as Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997 on the complaint of Assistant Sub-Inspector Ahmed.

SHO Qureshi said that the suspect had come back to Karachi from his native KP some five to six days ago and that the policemen on intelligence gathering duty on the night of the shoot-out had information that he had returned, following which they tried to arrest him.

However, the night before, DIG Farooqi had said that the suspect had recently been released from jail or even acquitted by the court.

SHO Qureshi said that the suspect knew the policemen as he had been arrested several times before by Quaidabad police in various cases. He said the suspect, after making the plain-clothed officials, opened fire, which resulted in a shoot-out.

The SHO said that the suspect had been involved in murder, attempted murder and robbery, and there were several cases registered against him at Quaidabad police station alone. Furthermore, he had been involved in injuring two other policemen in the past.

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