Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teenage boy murders father

KARACHI: The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) arrested a teenage boy and his two companions accused of killing his own father, who was a police inspector.

Waqas, 17, was arrested from his hometown Vihari while with his cousin, Sarfaraz, and childhood friend, Arshad, were arrested Karachi for assisting Waqas in murdering his father. The culprit confessed to committing the crime, stating that his father neglected him and his mother and remarried again in 2007. A TT pistol that Waqas used to kill his father was also recovered from his possession.

The bullet-riddled body of Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Ghulam Yasin was found from his house within the jurisdiction of Artillery Maidan police station on January 27. At first, the investigation division of the police station concerned investigated the case but was unable to probe the case upon which, it was transferred to SIU. The deceased had three children including the accused Waqas from his first wife who died a natural death in 2002 and a minor baby from his second wife.

In the initial investigation, the police suspected the deceased’s second wife and a hairdresser, who resided with the deceased at his house, of committing the murder. SIU Chief SSP Raja Omer Khattab told Daily Times that the deceased owned property worth more than 110 million rupees in his hometown. The police suspected the deceased’s second wife for committing the crime as it was revealed that the deceased was in an argument with his second wife regarding the matter that he should transfer the property to her name. While they also suspected the hairdresser as he was missing for a week before the incident took place, however, after questioning them and investigating the matter, the police found the two to be innocent.

Interestingly, the hairdresser was forced to confess that he had committed the crime, though he could not produce a murder weapon. SSP Khattab further said that the accused, Waqas, tried to make the incident look like a robbery while giving the impression that his stepmother was involved in the crime. The hairdresser went missing because he had borrowed cash from various people and could not repay the amount to them, SSP Khattab explained. The accused Waqas and his siblings lived with their grandparents. “I took advantage of the dispute going on between my father and Sarfaraz’s family and convinced him to assist me,” Waqas confessed. “I also wanted to get marriage to Sarfaraz’s sister.” “My father always considered me a step-son and never looked after my mother. Therefore, I decided to take revenge,” said Waqas. “We went there, had dinner and then I shot my father when he went to sleep.” (Daily Times Report)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Federal govt suspends NICVD director, staff goes on strike: Patients suffer due to 2-hr closure

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: The staff of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) observed a strike on Friday, making the hospital a no-go area for cardiac patients, in protest against the removal of the NICVD director by the federal government on Thursday.

The strike forced hundreds of attendants of cardiac patients, not only locals of the city but also people hailing from various parts of Sindh and Balochistan, to wait for several hours outside the biggest cardiac hospital of the city. The federal government had issued the notification for the removal of NICVD Director Dr Shahzaman Khan on Thursday, appointing the senior-most doctor of the hospital, Dr Asadullah Kundi, as the new director.

Rejecting the notification, Dr Khan refused to handover charge to the newly appointed director. Sources said that the hospital employees that favoured Khan decided to protest against his removal and issued a strike call. For more than two hours, the hospital remained closed and the protesting staff did not allow any one to enter the premises, including patients who had come to get admitted. “Yes, I have still not handed over the charge, as most of the professors and hospital staff want to see me as director, but I did not manage the protest, it is a false allegation against me,” said former NICVD Director Dr Shahzaman Khan.

Upon being contacted, he told this scribe that he does not practice favoritism amongst his staff members. “All of them are my staff and I don’t discriminate between them,” he said.

NICVD is the biggest cardiac hospital with a capacity of 360 beds, however, in reality, the hospital has actually managed to accommodate more than 400 beds. It has three medical, one surgical, one pediatric ward, three coronary care units, one surgical intensive care unit and one Emergency unit with 28 beds. Hospital records reveal that the daily out-patient attendance averages 1,200 patients and an average of 250 patients are attended to in the emergency unit, out of which, around 30 patients, including 15 acute infarctions, are admitted on a daily basis.

Dr Khan further claimed that even the newly appointed director Dr Asadullah Kundi is not willing to take charge. “We conducted a meeting today and Dr Kundi said that the federal government is playing musical chairs and he does not want to be a part of the issue. Besides this, five professors are leaving on Saturday to meet with federal health secretary to negotiate the cancellation of my removal orders,” he said.

To a question, he admitted that he was not the most senior in the seniority list but he was appointed as the hospital director. “I am not getting any extra money for this position, I did a lot of work during my tenure and I am planning to start a new 100-bed ward, for which, I had told the federal government that if they cannot finance the project, I will manage the Rs 400 million for the construction of the ward. In such conditions, my removal is not fair,” he added.

Dr Khan also alleged that the ruling PPP government wants to appoint Dr Liaqutallah Cheema as the director of the hospital. (DT)

Fraudster caught at Al Asif Square

The Special Investigation Unit (SIU), in collaboration with an intelligence agency, arrested a man who duped various businessmen and industrialists into giving him millions of rupees by using names of higher authorities.

A SIU handout issued on Friday stated that, Khalid Hussain Solangi, son of Urs Solangi, was arrested when the SIU, along with intelligence officials, raided at a coach, Makka Coach, at Al-Asif Square in the Sohrab Goth area. The statement added that while Solangi was arrested, his two accomplices, Ramzan and Ghulam Mustafa, managed to escape. A TT pistol and drugs were recovered from his possession.

The handout further stated that during the initial course of interrogation, the culprit revealed that he, through a mobile phone, used to dupe various traders, businessmen and industrialists across the country including, Karachi, interior Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab, into giving millions of rupees as donations for earthquake victims, cancer patients and others, by using the names of various prominent personalities including former Inspector General of Police Shoaib Suddle, Brigadiers, Colonels, Generals and politicians.

The culprit further confessed that he was helped in the fraud and that he usually sent his accomplices to pickup the donations from businessmen and industrialists. Solangi used to dispose off the SIM cards after using them to make the calls; he has also been arrested before in Karachi, Raheem Yar Khan, Sukkur and Lahore. Solangi has now gotten into the drug business, as his donation fraud was not doing so well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

19 brilliant students get Japanese scholarship

Karachi: Nineteen brilliant students of Muhammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) Karachi have been awarded Japanese scholarships by the Consul General of Japan Akinori Wada in a ceremony held here Thursday.
Approximately cheques of Rs11 million have been distributed amongst the students of Muhammad Ali Jinnah University Karachi.
Addressing the students, Japanese CG Akinori Wada congratulated the students & stated that Japan always cooperate in the field of education, health & development in the world.
He said that Japan has allocated three hundred sixty million rupees for the higher education scholarship for the students of Pakistan in the filed of research, agriculture, business communication, social sciences & IT.
Dr. Abdul Wahab, the President of Muhammad Ali Jinnah University Karachi, confessed the cooperation of Japan in the filed of education everywhere in the world.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

KBCA cancels NOCs of Aman Residency and Highway City

Karachi: Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) has cancelled No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for advertisement for sale of two private public sale projects besides imposing ban on their construction.
A KBCA release on Tuesday stated that the authority has cancelled NOC for sale and advertisement of Project‘Aman Residency ’ on plot No. 7 Block-E III, Nazimabad, and also suspended builder’s license of M/s Mahar Associates for six month owing to non-completion of the project within stipulated time. KBCA has also cancelled sale and advertisement NOC of another project ‘Highway City’ at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town Corridor Scheme 33, Sector N.18 C and Sector No.19 C for violating the construction rules of the authority. Earlier, the layout plan of the same project was also cancelled.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Controversy over death toll of toxic liquor victims

KARACHI: More than two-dozen people have fallen prey to spurious liquor while doctors are trying to save the lives of other victims. There is a difference between the unofficial and official records regarding the deaths in this incident. At least seventeen people have died in last four days after the consumption of poisonous liquor on the occasion of Holi. The victims were initially taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi (CHK) from where some of the seriously affected patients were referred to others government and private hospitals in the city for further treatment. CHK Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Hamid has said that 35 patients were admitted on Saturday with regards to the consumption of poisonous liquor. “Out of them 12 people have died. Some seriously affected people were referred to other hospitals as the CHK does not have the facility of the ventilators,” Dr Hamid explained. All the affected persons were brought to hospitals in a state of unconsciousness.
The MS said that the doctors are treating the victims making all efforts to save them but he fears that it would be hard as most of the victims are in a critical condition. Meanwhile, sources in the area have stated that spurious liquor has claimed three more lives on Sunday but their bodies were not taken to any hospital. On the other hand, Lyari Town SP Rana Pervez Mehmood told Daily Times that the death toll has risen up to 12 as one more became a victim of the poisonous liquor on Sunday. It is pertinent to mention here that the police have been ordered to register and ensure the arrests of those behind the supply of spurious liquor in the city. SP Mehmood said the police have arrested a group member, namely Israr while adding that Mahmoodabad area is the main source from where the liquor is supplied all over the city. The SP said that more raids in this regard are being conducted.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Restricted; Detentions At Karachi Toll Plaza

KARACHI: Police have started detaining the participants of Long March at Toll Plaza, Super Highway Karachi, reported A Pakistan News here Thursday.
Heavy contingent of police, ranger and other law enforcement agencies is present at the Toll plaza that has been sealed off for vehicles to prevent lawyers’ long march from continuing its journey towards Hyderabad, the first stop of the rally destined at Islamabad.
Police started detaining lawyers and political activists, belong to Jamaat-i-Islami, Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and other nationalist parties, attending the march when they arrived at Karachi Toll Plaza at Super Highway.
Lawyers and political workers also scuffled with the law enforcers who brutally tortured the detainees. Police also baton charged the participants of long march at some points, says the channel.
Former Amir JI Karachi Mairajul Huda Siddiqui, President Sindh High Court Bar Association Rashid A Rizvi and Ex-President Supreme Court Bar Association Munir A Malik are also among the detainees arrested from the Toll Plaza.
SP Gaddap Town informed A Pakistan News that the participants of Long March will not be allowed to cross Toll Plaza. Police have also said to be possessed warrants of 11 top lawyers present in the march.
Police personnel snatched the keys of the vehicles present in the Long March

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two alleged bandits killed in Police encounter at Karachi

KARACHI: Three persons were killed in different incidents in the city on Wednesday.

Two unknown dacoits were killed during a 'police encounter' in the jurisdiction of Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal town SSP, Arib Mehr told Geo news that the incident occurred near the police station where a police party was busy in snap checking. He said two young men tried to escape when police signaled them to stop. He said the bandits were killed when the police retaliated the fire. He said the police recovered two TT pistols.

In another incident, a 24-year-old unknown motorcyclist was crushed to death when a hit-and-run vehicle knocked him at the ICI Bridge near Tower.

The body was shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi for autopsy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Citizens deplore new utility tax

KARACHI: Citizens have expressed concerns over the newly imposed utility tax, terming it an additional burden on the masses as the majority of tenants, constituting 40 to 45 percent of city’s entire residential settlements, have been badly hit.
Talking to Daily Times, a number of tenants in various areas of the city said that no authority including the federal government; provincial government or the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) could curb the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.
A retired government servant, Malik Nisar, said, “The tussle between dairy farmers and the CDGK over milk prices has been going on for the past two years. The dairy farmers have not bowed down and the helpless citizens continue to pay higher prices for milk. If the CDGK can recover the utility tax by force, why can it not do the same with dairy farmers?”
Misbahuddin, a tenant in North Karachi, said, “Except verbal claims and press statements, no party in the city ever produced a rally or held a protest sit-in against the hike in utility tariffs and prices of everyday goods. The imposition of utility tax is a blatant injustice towards the people of the city.”
A primary school teacher in Buffer Zone said, “The collection of the tax and the District Coordination Officer’s warning that the CDGK will take legal action and arrest those who fail to pay the tax was a mere show of autocracy. It is a matter of surprise that the provincial and federal governments are silent on the issue of utility tax imposition and forced collection.”
Meanwhile, a housewife in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Block 13-D told Daily Times that the electricity and gas tariffs have already depressed citizens, especially tenants. “The laws pertaining to tenancy have been always in the landlords’ favour. The imposition of utility tax is a tyrannical act. The majority of the people directly affected by the utility tax belong to low-income groups, while the flyovers and parks are for the rich. The rich and the transporters should be asked to pay the tax because they use the roads,” she added.
Another agitated citizen, Qurban Soomro, said that it is the government’s responsibility to provide better civic facilities to its citizens by utilizing the already imposed taxes. “If this trend is allowed, then the government will start imposing taxes for every new development project.” A private health worker, Shaheena, said, “On top of the heavy utility tariffs, skyrocketing prices of transportation and essential items and this newly imposed tax, the KWSB has also increased water tariff by 9 percent.” CDGK Municipal Services Department (MSD) Executive District Officer (EDO) Masood Alam said that the MSD was only assigned to issue utility tax bills. “MSD has dispatched 1.2 million utility tax bills to citizens, thus, it is a 100 percent achievement. However, the recovery is the CDGK Finance Department’s responsibility.”
Replying to a question, Alam said, “There are some ambiguities regarding the residents of flats, as we are in a fix about whether it would be the landlord or the tenant who would pay the tax. In any case, the tenants are liable to pay the tax, while the unions have been taken on board only to serve as CDGK facilitators. The unions would collect utility bills in bulk and they will deliver the bill to the tenant, as the bill carries flat number etc.”
Meanwhile, CDGK Finance Department Executive Director Munawwar Imam said that the recovery target of utility tax is Rs 1.6 billion and the recovery till date is Rs 8.1 million. “There are different categories of taxpayers in terms of area of occupation, ranging from 60 square yards to 2,000 square yards premises. The process of recovery of utility tax is being continued and the target will soon be achieved.”
CDGK City Council opposition leader Saeed Ghani said that the imposition of utility tax was extremely unjust. “CDGK should review the tax because it has created problems for the people of the city. We have always opposed the imposition of utility tax on common citizens. We have often debated that the tax should be imposed only on the corporate sector but it is a pity that those who have earned billions and trillions from this city have been spared, while the tax paying masses have been exposed to this new injustice,” commented Ghani. (Irfan Aligi)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

2 Killed in Karachi paper market fire

KARACHI: A big fire erupted in paper market located opposite lighthouse cinema here on Saturday.

The fire engulfed two floors of Haji building resulting in death of two while four others were critically injured. The hospital Medico Legal Officer (MLO) also confirmed death of two persons.

Three motorcycles parked outside the building and eight shops were burnt. Area people held the fire brigade responsible since it arrived late on the spot.