Filling station manager gunned down in capital

ISLAMABAD: In arguably the first murder of the new year, a former cop was gunned down near the Sabzi Mandi in the capital on Saturday morning. However, police are so far clueless about who was the culprit involved.

Muhammad Siddique, who worked for a former police chief, was shot multiple times in the chest from point-blank range. An autopsy later discovered that he had received five bullets to his chest.

Police officers said that the incident took place in the morning and squads reached the spot in Sector I-11 at around 10:30 am, shortly after the incident. There, they found Siddique lying dead inside his car.

“The car’s engine was still running but the car was locked from the inside,” said Sabzi Mandi SHO inspector Sajjad Bukhari, adding that they have yet to identify the culprits.

Meanwhile, a homicide investigator said that Siddique was apparently shot by someone who was sitting right next to the victim in the passenger seat of the car.

While officers confirmed that they had found a bullet hole next to the car’s rear number plate, they believe the bullets were fired from inside the car rather than by someone who was standing outside the car firing in, leading to the view that the attacker may have been known to Siddique.

Siddique, who was in his 30s, hailed from the Battal area of Mansehra district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He had joined the capital police but soon left it and was currently working with the former inspector general of the Islamabad Police Bani Amin Khan, managing a fuel station which Bani’s family ran near Chungi 26.

Later, while speaking to The Express Tribune, Bani Amin said that Siddique was carrying Rs10,000 in cash and a few open cheques at the time of the incident. However, these were recovered by the police from the scene.

This, the former top cop opined, suggested that it was a planned murder rather than a robbery attempt gone awry.

“I have known him [Siddique] for a long time. He came from a poor family,” the former-IGP said, adding that soon after the incident, they had started looking for Siddique on their own since he was not responding to calls on his cell phone.

When they passed the crime scene near the Sabzi Mandi, they stopped to check out of curiosity and were shocked to discover that Siddique was the victim.

Bani Amin said it was very likely that the person sitting next to Siddique in the passenger seat killed him.

“Whoever killed Siddique also took away the car’s remote control [for locking and unlocking the central system installed in some cars] and locked it [the vehicle] after exiting it,” Bani Amin said.

Siddique’s is the first murder case to be registered in Islamabad in 2018. Last year, a total of 89 murders were registered by the capital police, down from over 90 in 2016. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2018.

ATC Special Judge Fazal Subhan Khan adjourned the case till October 28

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