–Zikri’s three-year-old son, accomplice also killed in shootout, police claim Zikri was using son as human shield
–Two policemen also reportedly injured during crossfire of which one is in critical condition
KARACHI: Lyari gang war leader Ghaffar Zikri, his three-year-old son and an accomplice, Chhota Zahid, were killed early Thursday morning in a police shootout in the Ali Muhammad area of the port city.
DIG South Javed Alam Odho told reporters that two police officials were also injured in the crossfire that lasted for nearly 90 minutes.
A full fledged shootout started after the police party reached the area where the raid was conducted, with Ghaffar and Zahid also attacking police with hand grenades.
Contingents of police and Rangers had locked down the area following the shootout. Search operations were launched in nearby areas.
While talking to the media after the operation, Odho said, “Police along with law enforcement agencies conducted a search operation on an intelligence tip-off. During the operation, the police had also recovered several weapons, including rockets, two SMGs, a hand grenade and more than 200 rounds of ammunition during a search conducted after the shootout.”
“After 90 minutes, Zikri and his accomplice were killed,” Odho added.
He further said, “Zikri’s three-year-old son, who he was using as a shield, was also killed in the crossfire.”
Odho also mentioned that the police officials were injured during the operation, “A sub-inspector was shot in the stomach and is said to be critical. The other police officer was shot in his leg and is out of danger.”
According to the post-mortem examination of the bodies, which were sent to the Civil Hospital, Ghaffar was shot six times while his son and accomplice received one bullet wound each, which proved to be fatal.
Following the operation, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Syed Kaleem Imam announced Rs500,000 as a reward for the police party that conducted the operation.
Furthermore, the IGP lauded the efforts of the team and said that they will be awarded appreciation certificates along with the monetary reward.
IGP Imam added that his department will keep in constant touch with the hospital administration to “ensure that the injured police officers receive the best medical treatment”.
Following that, Karachi Police chief Dr Amir Sheikh said, “We are happy that we managed to kill a wanted terrorist but said that a three-year-old was also killed during the operation.”
Encouraging the police officials and the Rangers personnel who took part in the 90-minute-long operation, the Karachi police chief said, “They put their lives in danger and took part.”
He admitted during a brief talk that crime in the metropolis had increased. However, he was quick to assure that police were conducting operations and arresting criminals in order to improve the law and order situation.
“In the past one and a half month, multiple people have been arrested. We are trying to repair the system so that they receive punishments as well,” he said.
He further said that the police were “preparing lists” of people who were allegedly involved in the recent wave of kidnappings and unrest, including protests, in the city and give the impression that the security situation was worsening.
“Some elements are trying to create the impression that Karachi’s security condition is not under control.”
Condemning the recent wave of protests, Dr Sheikh said, “A child is kidnapped in Bilal Town and within four hours people take to the streets to protest and start burning tyres.”
He added, “Last night there was a rumour of a girl being kidnapped and then again there were protests in the city. However, the girl was found three hours later from the other end of the town and it is being said she left out of her own free will.”
“All this is being done on orders issued by certain people,” the police chief added.
Zikri, a successor of Arshad Pappu, and his accomplice were few of the most wanted players of the Lyari gang war. He had a bounty of Rs2.5 million. He was wanted for attacks on law enforcement agencies (LEAs), extortion and kidnapping.
As of recently, police have been carrying out different search operations in various neighbourhoods of Lyari.
In the early 2000s, Zikri was arrested for a petty crime he claimed he did not commit. He was soon let off, having witnessed the state of those swallowed by the system. Zikri quickly joined Pappu’s gang after being released.
Last year, his younger brother, Aftab Zikri, had been killed in a shootout with the police.