Karachi Shooting: Rangers Killed A Young Man At Boat Basin (Updated)

(Updated: Included a video at the end of the post with some description)

I do not know what to say or do. It is one thing that barbarism prevails in many parts of the country and daily we hear news of people dying in ethnic clashes, drone attacks, target killings, burglary, street crimes, enmity, blood feuds etc. Seeing this video, however, the brain simply goes blank and is unable to process reality.

Yesterday a short video became public where a young man was being held by Rangers in front of Benazir Bhutto Park at Boat Basin and he tried to plead with them to lower their guns that were pointing right at him at point blank. Within seconds the ranger shot him twice, in lower abdomen and leg, and he fell down. Later, a longer version of the video (embedded below) was made available that showed him bleeding like anything and lay there at the mercy of his captors who simply walked around him with no hurry and didn’t take him to hospital for emergency treatment despite the bleeding young man’s pleadings.

Caution: The video contains violent footage. Viewer discretion is advised.

Watching this makes my blood boil, but remembering the case of flogging video of a girl in Swat I am forced to calm myself down and think on rational and logical lines. Before we come to any conclusions based on this video, these are the following questions we need answers:

1) Who was the cameraman? Why was he allowed to make this video in the first place? Why didn’t the Rangers snatched his camera away instead of permitting to continue shooting the footage even though the guy lay there bleeding?

2) Why didn’t the Rangers immediately called the ambulance or took the young man to nearest hospital? South City Hospital was just 5 minutes away from that location, yet later the guy was taken to Jinnah Hospital which is at least 15 to 20 minutes away if you drive at reckless speed.

3) Why was the claim made by the Rangers that the young man was armed and held a family hostage in the park? There was no gun with him when they shot him. Did the Rangers submitted any armament as evidence or produced the family/people/persons he held captive?

4) Even if he held someone hostage, why in the hell he would do that in a PARK and even that at Boat Basin, an area crawling with Police, Rangers, Army, Intelligence and what not due to stone throw distance away from Bilawal House?

5) Did the video only came out because the victim was brother of a journalist and he used his influence? How many more of such videos people have but don’t make it public? I clearly remember back in year 2000 when a shaken classmate asked me

You heard the news Police killed two robbers yesterday?

Yeah I did

Dude, I was there. The two guys were simply going on bike when police van hit them, got off the vehicle and showered them with bullets. It was assassination I tell you

Cameras weren’t common in those days and mobile phone was a rarity. What if someone had made a video or took pictures, how much of it would have become public?

6) The young man was later identified as Sarfaraz Shah. Will the Rangers men be named as well who were involved in the incident? Victims are often named pretty quickly, as was the rape case last year where the girl’s name was made public on a whim but the names of the accused kept secret.

7) What is the Rangers SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) in such cases and when are they allowed to open fire?

8- If Rangers claims turn out to be false, will the victims family get justice? If so, how and who will decide what justice to be given?

9) What impact will it make on Rangers continued presence in the city? What will be their role if they do stay? They no longer are seem as guardian against chaos, especially not after this incident and police is not trusted in any case.

There are too many questions, some small others not so, but I have listed down what should be broadly covered before making any assumption or passing any judgement. Nevertheless, even if the accusations against the young Sarfaraz Shah were true, I will still condemn the shooting and subsequent killing in such a barbaric way.

Update: Unlike the previous link, the following link is more clear with footage that was missing in the previous one. In the following footage you can see the boy, Sarfaraz Shah, moving TOWARDS the Rangers Jawan despite their repeated warnings and instruction to sit but he kept on moving ahead, so much that he nearly pushed the Jawan about five steps and even touched his hands. In any other country this would have happened, the law enforcing agencies would have opened fire on the legs just like it was done in this case. However, the lack of medical help and cold-hearted behavior is unacceptable as ever.


12 thoughts on “Karachi Shooting: Rangers Killed A Young Man At Boat Basin (Updated)

  1. Kazim

    I don’t know what to say. I haven’t felt this much rage and anger after 12 May 2007. It seems like we really have crossed the line that differentiate humans from animals. why do we have any criminal justice system any more? why are there any courts in Pakistan.

    1. Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi Post author

      Same here Kazim, same here. I had a disturbed night after watching this video. These past 12 months have given us a lot to think where we are headed and what mess we have created for ourselves.

  2. Imran

    well a friend of mine said he was found with a gun n he is in favor of it… saying such ppl shud be killed on the spot… my opinion is… even if he was with a gun… he got caught… no threat from him to anyone so he should have been arrested n then brought to justice through court…

    but the most important question is… how come a camera man was there right when it was all happening… remember kharotabad incident also had a cameraman present to film it all… 2 incidents where rangers killed “innocent” people and both were filmed and played on air and are used to disrepute the rangers… its a very very big question mark…

    i dont know about rangers but police will not shoot anyone like this when they know that they r being recorded… it does seem some conspiracy against the rangers… but we can only guess…

    overall the video does serve its purpose of hate against rangers for brutally killing unarmed people…

    i only hope someone on media bring the actual truth out and explain wat actually happened cos we r only seeing wat the camera is showing…

    1. Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi Post author

      If you watch closely Imran, not just he was caught with a gun but also said “Main majboor tha” which proves that he probably was a thief. The problem is, these thieves won’t stop a heartbeat to shoot some random person dead for a mobile phone or watch or some currency. Even at a sign of resistance they will shoot you dead and won’t even remorse later.
      I do not know what was did to him was right, but what I do say is the guy getting shot was his own fault as if you watch closely, he actually grabbed the front of gun, pushed the ranger back and got too close for anyone’s comfort despite repeated instructions to sit down. Shooting on the leg is common practice in most countries and that was what done here though it created the wrong result.
      Talat Hussain’s program on 9th of June gave details about which cameraman was there (Awaz TV) and what were the views, though the program itself was biased as all views were negative. It also came to my knowledge that just a day before this incident, a Ranger jawan was shot dead by a random guy who vanished and was not caught. The same day this incident took place, the dead jawan’s funeral was performed and media didn’t even reported any part of it. In past few weeks, none of the good stuff that military has done in the city has been mentioned and neither are the facts told that how many unknown and random attacks are being faced by military personnel going out on their own, with family or friends.
      Emotions are high on both sides and it’s only people like us, who rely on tv and media for news, who remain most ignorant of reality.

  3. Gibran Oliver

    I think that 1 bullet should have been enough . . . I don’t think the rangers wanted to restrain that guy .. a butt on the head and that guy would have been knocked out ! this is assassination . . . that is why I condemn this act, not all of the rangers.

    1. Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi Post author

      Indeed a strike on the head would have knocked him off, but let’s face it. If the news had shown Rangers hitting the kid on the head with G 3 rifled butt, would they have let it go or still pursued the whole scene as proof that Rangers are terrorizing innocent and poor folk? I believe no matter what Rangers would have done, they would have received bad name in any case:
      1) Shot him in the leg that led to eventual death … Rangers are murderers
      2) Hit him on the head – Rangers are terrorizing the common, innocent folks
      3) Beat him senseless – Rangers are brutal maniacs who hate Karachi people and beat them barbarically
      4) Slap him, pick him up and throw in the van – Rangers catching innocent people and letting criminals go.
      5) Accept his pleading and let him go – Rangers are supporting street crime to justify their stay in the city.

      No matter what they would have done, it would have painted the wrong way in any case.

  4. Elisha Ellis

    I also agree with most comments made concerning this incident…the problem here which has been quite rightly pointed out we as the viewers have seen a picture (the video) which has been portrayed to create the reactions like those posted so far…my concern is that this practice not only in Pakistan but, America and England too are producing Law enforcement officers who believe they have the authority and the power to dish out punishment that they feel is fit…what no one seems to have mentioned is this didn’t happen just yesterday or last year this type of justice has been prevalent in societies for centuries only in this day and age technology has allowed the rest of the world to witness such atrocities…however the real numbers of such injustices will never come to light when the Governments who control our countries along with the criminal justice agencies who are supposed to serve and protect our public’s continue to cover up their failings like that of this terrible incident above-this about ‘power’ and ‘control’ the act this/these rangers committed that day make them no better than the people they are said to be protecting us from. One shot to the leg was suffice what followed was not necessary all countries have issues with how the police conduct themselves this just adds to the distaste of not only the ordinary, decent law abiding citizen, but, to all of us have a what? Conscience!!!!!!!!

    1. Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi Post author

      I agree with you that law enforcement agencies throughout the world behave that way and only recently these have started to surface and come into notice of general public. Some of the procedures, such as shooting in the leg, are not for fun. They are there because of reasons, experiences and past events that lead to such behavior because let’s face it, members of law enforcement agencies are indeed putting their lives on the line along with those around them. Any mistake or miscalculation on their part can lead to death and they have to make these decisions every living day of their lives. It is always on spot priorities that define their actions and sometimes emotions (or the lack of them) can lead to results otherwise not predicted.
      I do not care if it was right to shoot the guy in the leg, my complain has been the utter lack of emotion as Ranger jawans moved around him like no care in the world and did not call for medical support. Throughout the world if such cases take place, medical help is immediately provided to save life.
      We seriously need to improve our judicial system and bring justice to the people which is fast, accurate, reliable and affordable and people trust in it rather than balk.

  5. Pingback: Felt Safe This Eid? Thank Rangers For Their Efforts « Reason Before Passion

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