KARACHI: This is the second major incident in the North Nazimabad neighbourhood of District Central. Whereas earlier on February 7, a young Hafiz Osama had lost his life for refusing to hand over his mobile phone to the street criminals near the Power House neighbourhood.
A total of 15 people were killed and around 90 others wounded during street crimes in Karachi since Jan 2022. In January alone, 12 people were killed and 65 injured in Karachi, which is facing an alarming increase in street crimes. Besides scores of deaths, the citizens of Karachi were also deprived of valuables worth tens of millions of rupees in the current year.
The provincial government also recently changed the Karachi Police chief, hoping for an improvement in the law and order situation but the situation does not seem to be changing.
On Friday, Athar Mateen was returning home after dropping his children at school when he saw armed men mugging a citizen. While the mugging was in process, a daredevil motorist hit the robbers’ bike with his car and sped away. Encouraged by the bold act, Mateen, acting as a Good Samaritan, also tried to rescue the street crime victim and rammed his car into the robbers’ motorbike, knocking down the armed bandits. However, to his bad luck, after hitting their motorbike once, Mateen reversed his car to hit them again, but by that time one of the robbers stood up, took aim and fired at him, leaving him critically wounded.
DIG Zone West police chief Nasir Aftab explained, “Mateen was killed by robbers when he tried to foil the robbery bid.” Aftab said that the bullet hit Mateen close to the throat, killing him shortly after the incident.
As the robbers’ motorcycle was hit twice by two different cars, the robbers went on to snatch another motorcycle and escaped. The eyewitnesses reported robbers remaining there for a while at the scene without any law enforcement response. “We had no weapons but we pelted them with stones making them flee,” the witnesses said and added they fled after snatching another motorcycle.
The police reached the crime scene afterwards. Mateen who was uncontrollably bleeding was immediately shifted to the nearby private hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Later, the body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for an autopsy.
Police have also obtained the CCTV footage of the incident and initiated investigations. DIG Aftab claimed to have achieve breakthroughs in the killings of both Athar Mateen and Hafiz Osama. “We have leads in both these cases and soon the culprits will be behind the bars,” Aftab claimed.
Athar Mateen was a member of the Karachi Press Club and the brother of senior anchorperson Tariq Mateen. He had been associated with different media outlets. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah sought a report from the additional inspector general. They directed the senior cop to ensure the arrest of killers at the earliest. No case has been registered till the filing of this news story. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed expressed grief over Mateen’s death and sought a report from the Sindh chief secretary and inspector general of police. In a statement on Twitter, Rasheed strongly condemned Mateen’s death, saying the murder of a senior journalist at the hands of robbers was a gruesome incident.
The Karachi Police chief, Addl IG, Ghulam Nabi Memon, has formed a probe team under the direct supervision of DIG West Nasir Aftab. The SSP Special Investigation Unit and SSP Central are other members of the team. The Karachi Police chief, while talking to media, said that he was saddened by the death of journalist Athar Mateen. “We are working on strong clues and we will get them soon.”
Memon said old records of street criminals should be checked and criminals identified. Intelligence-based action should be taken in slums where these street criminals usually take shelter. Steps are being taken to increase the strength of the Karachi Police.