KARACHI: “They could have shot and killed him, if they really wanted him dead. Why did they have to give him so much pain and beat him up so badly?”
The grieving, elderly mother asks herself these questions as she mourns the death of her young son, who was beaten to death by his own childhood friends. Syed Ali Farhan, 32, resident of alFalah Society in Malir was beaten up by his friends inside his house on July 27. The family accused his six friends, Fayyaz, Uzair, Farooq, Arshad, Sagheer and Adeel, for torturing their loved one to death.
Farhan, the second of six siblings, used to work in Pakistan Stock Exchange and had gotten married a year ago. His wife is currently in Canada. As if losing the young man was not torturous enough, the family witnessed the brutal manner in which his friends beat him to death.
“They came to our house at around 8pm and started beating Farhan up,” narrated the mother, Shahnaz Begum. “We repeatedly requested them to leave him but they did not listen to us and continued to torture him for the entire night.”
Shahnaz recalled how the suspects used whatever item they found to beat up her son. “They put several blade wounds on his body, attacked him with a knife and, if that wasn’t enough, they applied salt to his wounds.”
From friends to enemies
Farhan’s killers were not strangers but were his childhood friends with whom he had been living in the same neighbourhood. They were frequent visitors at the house and had good relations with other members in Farhan’s family.
“They [suspects] even visited our house a couple of days before the incident,” recalled Shahnaz. “I served them food. They seemed very happy but suddenly something happened and they killed my beloved son,” she said.
Once they beat him up, the suspects took some valuables and other documents from the house and escaped. Farhan was rushed to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where he succumbed to his wounds. The family refused post-mortem but a doctor at the hospital confirmed the body bore severe torture marks.
“My mother started crying at the hospital,” said Farhan’s older brother, Adnan. “She made us swear we will not allow the doctors to conduct his post-mortem as he was already tortured so badly. We were helpless in front of our mother,” he explained.
Business between friends
The family believes that a monetary dispute led to the sour relations between friends. Farhan was unable to return the money he took as loan and lost after investing in the stock exchange. “My brother did not cheat them but this [losses] happens frequently in the shares business,” said Adnan. “Farhan asked them to wait and assured them their money will be returned but they killed my brother.”
In comes the police
AlFalah police have registered the murder case but the family accused them of delaying the process. “Their delays in registering an FIR helped the criminals flee,” claimed Adnan. “It appears to be a joke that the police helped them flee in the first place and are not claiming to be looking for the suspects.”
Meanwhile, the police said this dispute dates back at least one year. The men nominated in the FIR had suffered a loss of over Rs4.5 million. After suffering the loss, Farhan left for Canada and had returned only recently.
A special police investigation committee, led by Criminal Investigation Agency DIG Sultan Khawaja and Special Investigation Unit chief SP Farooq Awan, has been constituted by Karachi AIG Mushtaq Maher.
A breakthrough came on Friday when alFalah police arrested one of the suspects named Faizan, said Korangi SSP Noman Siddiqui. Faizan’s name is, however, not mentioned in the FIR the family lodged. According to the police, Faizan had accompanied the six prime suspects on the day that Farhan was beaten up. The victim’s brother, Imran, told The Express Tribune that the suspects had brought along some unknown men on the day of the incident.
During interrogation, Faizan told the police that he did not torture Farhan. The remaining suspects called him to Farhan’s house and he merely responded to their call. SSP Siddiqui assured, however, that they are trying to trace the remaining suspects.