Police have rounded up 34 suspects so far on charges of lynching two telecom company workers in Karachi’s Machhar Colony area a day ago, South Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Irfan Ali Baloch said on Saturday.
A vigilante mob lynched the two men and torched their vehicle after some miscreants spread rumours that they were kidnappers and roaming the area with the intention to abduct children, police said yesterday.
After taking notice of the incident, the South DIG had directed the Keamari SSP Fida Hussain Janwari to personally conduct an inquiry into it.
Initially, two suspects were arrested on Friday, and on Saturday, DIG Baloch said the number had increased to 34.
“Keamari police conducted a targeted operation in Machhar Colony to arrest the suspects,” he said, adding that those in custody were being interrogated.
The DIG said a case for the incident had been registered in which 15 named and more than 200 unnamed suspects were booked.
He added that apart from those arrested, five more suspects had been identified with the help of videos of the incident so far.
However, the Keamari SSP told Dawn on Friday that a total of 10 suspects had been identified with the help of mobile phone footage and statements of witnesses.
The DIG said today that videos were being used to identify more witnesses and no one involved in the incident would be spared.
Keamari SSP Janwari earlier told Dawn that two employees of a cellular firm were going to a desolate part of Machhar Colony in their vehicle to examine and fix the antenna of a mobile phone tower on Friday.
As they were passing through the area some miscreants started a rumour that they were kidnappers and moving around with the intention to abduct children, he added.
The SSP said around 500 to 600 people gathered in the area following the rumours, got hold of the two workers and started beating them with stones and other blunt weapons. They also set their vehicle on fire.
A police team, which was already in the area for providing security to health workers conducting an anti-polio drive, rushed to the scene as soon as they got the information, SSP Janwari said, adding that the law enforcers fired into the air in a bid to disperse the charged mob.
However, they could not save the two employees, who suffered catastrophic injuries and died at the scene.
The deceased were identified as Muhammad Ishaq, 31, and Muhammad Aiman, 28. They were taken to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital for an autopsy.
Police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed told Dawn that both the men suffered extensive injuries and their skulls were fractured at multiple sites.
Hospital sources said that the victims originally hailed from Tando Allahyar and Thatta districts.