Our Karachi

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Chapter 6

Preddy Police Station, 8:15 pm

Forty three years old brown skinned SHO Anwer was about to sit on his seat, when the telephone on table rang, he picked the black receiver on the first ring and said: “hello,” in harsh tone.

“I am Inspector Aziz from Crime Branch,” came the soft voice from other end: “Any updates on Aslam’s murder?”

“Sir we are investigating the case and as soon as we get any clue it would be shared with you,” he said in calm voice.

“Ok,” came the reply from other end and the phone was disconnected, he put down the receiver, he took round black cap from head and threw it over the files on the table, for several hours he was out in the field investigating the murder of Aslam. It was famous for Akram that whenever he took a case, he would reach to its very roots before closing it. For last two years he was the in-charge of Preedy Police station, it is commonly known as a goose with golden eggs, this station gets billions of rupees every week from drug peddlers, wine shops and other such illegal businesses. It is said that an honest officer couldn’t survive for more than two weeks at Preedy Police Station

Suddenly Akram’s cellphone buzzed, he took it out from his khaki pants and stared at the screen, he had received a SMS, when he open it, it read:

“Important information regarding Aslam being telecasted on Day TV, he stood up and went to the monitoring room quickly, switched the television to Day TV. Zahid khan with his peculiar red cap was speaking on his TV show:

“Many RAW agents are present in Karachi, and our government is doing nothing, one such RAW agent was killed few days back at Ghas Mandi, according to police investigation his name was Aslam, but our reliable sources have confirmed that his name was Captain Abhijeet Singh, he belonged to Indian city of Madras.....”

“What the fuck......” Anwer screamed his subordinates gave him a terrified look, he went out from the room. He came back to his seat took out his cellphone and dialed the number of his informer in Azizabad, when the call was connected, he asked in firm tone:

“What is the latest information?”

“Nothing special,” he was told.

“Confirm me, is any of their political activists murdered within two days?” he asked.

“No such news,” he was told, he disconnected the call, he took the brown file from the table opened it and stared at photo of Aslam’s dead body. Once again his cellphone buzzed, this time it was his Lyari informer’s message, it read:

“Several movements have been reported in the area….but not of any particular gang, they seemed to be Baloch separatists…”

Anwer had served as in-charge of Lyari for five years, it is considered the most complicated area of Karachi, it is one of the most ancient areas of the city, majority of population is Baloch, who had migrated from Iran, and no one could even enter Lyari without having a permission from one of the leaders of different gangs. Lyari is one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated town. It is bordered by the towns of SITE Town to the north across the Lyari River, Jamshed and Saddar to the east, and Kimari to the west across the main harbor of Karachi. Lyari name has been used as a name of tree which is called Lyaar.

There are few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. Lyari is also the center of Karachi’s Sheedi community of African descent.

Lyari is known as a football hotbed in Pakistan. Many of the nation’s top players come from the area. Football is so popular that crime levels dip significantly during the football world-cup season.

Anwer was told to take calculated steps as in-charge of police in Lyari, he had received a tip on every first day of his joining about a fight being going on between a Sheedi group and an outsider at Cheel Chowk, he went there along with his picket and saw that Sheedi men had circled a fair skinned young who was on the ground, and the Sheedis were kicking and abusing him, Anwer reached the scene and shouted to stop it. A fat round faced Sheedi having curly hair, red teeth and earrings in both ears came to him.

“What the hell is going on here?” Anwer had said, the fat monster looking Sheedi had walked towards him, his name was Babul and said:

“Sahib this bastard entered our area and started misbehaving with our ladies,” Anwer stared the person on ground and asked two cops to pick him and put in police van, that person was bleeding from mouth and nose, he seemed to be well dressed clean shaven guy. A lady who was five months pregnant, throwing her sandal on the guy screamed: “whoever has little bit money in his pocket leaves home for whoring.”

“Sahib this is a red light area,” one thin cop whispered in Anwer’s ear, he stared at the young guy who was sitting with his head bowed down.

“Sahib we should leave this place immediately,” said the same cop in whisper, Anwer asked the driver to move, they came to police station, Anwer offered the guy a seat, and he sat down wiping blood with shirt sleeves.

“What is your name?” Anwer asked.

“Anjum Ali,” he replied, broken words came out of his mouth.

“What do you do?” Anwer asked again.

“I am….” He replied hesitated: “I am a lecturer at engineering college,” Anwer stared him from top to bottom and had asked:

“Where do you live?”

“Noomaish Chorangi,” he replied

“What were you doing in this area?” Anwer had asked.

“Sir,” he’d replied: “I was told by a friend that new girls have arrived at the red light area,” he’d stopped talking.

“And…” Anwer had said.

“So to fulfil that desire I reached there,” he said: “in the street that pregnant lady met and offered to taste something new, I thought she was a maid finding customers for the best item, I asked her how much and was told to pay twenty five hundred, which I paid her, she took me to a single room apartment which had a double bed and a dressing table, I sat on the edge of bed and asked about the girl and was told she is the girl, I was shocked hearing this and protested because she was five months into her pregnancy, she screamed at me and scolded me, then I was pushed out of the room, I yelled at her, meanwhile other whores and pimps gathered and started beating me,” there was a roar of laughter in the police station when Anjum finished, he bowed down his head in shame. The cops took away remaining amount from him and left him……

Since then Anwer had realized it was not easy to work in Lyari…. He received another SMS that read: “two Baloch separatists were seen at Ghas Mandhi earlier in the morning of the murder, they have left for Hub Chowkee.” Anwer was annoyed by the information. A moment later he received a phone call from a private number, after introduction he was told in an orderly tone: “close Aslam’s case by mentioning he was RAW agent, no further investigation…”

“Yes sir,” he was only managed to say that.

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