Karachi: Muhammad Ali Hajiano the infamous “White Corolla rapist”, and his partner-in-crime, Umair Khan, were sentenced to 45 years in jail over rape charges by a court on Tuesday.
Additional district and sessions judge (South) Sikandar Ameer Panhore also imposed a fine of Rs75,000 on each of them.
On July 31, the two men were convicted in two robbery cases by the same judge and handed down jails terms of 15 years and a fine of Rs35,000.
Hajiano and Khan were tried in three cases of committing robberies and raping women at different bungalows in Defence, Karachi.
They was arrested in 2009 and booked in around 35 cases of rape, attempt to murder and robbery.
However, the prosecution managed to have them convicted in five cases.
Investigators had described Hajiano, son of former EDO education Gul Muhammad Hajiano who had contested the presidential election against General Pervez Musharraf, as a heinous criminal who drove around in a while Toyota Corolla car, robbed families, rape women and members of the transgender community, creating far and panic among the residents of Defence and Clifton.
Hajiano claimed that that he was innocent and being victimised by his father’s political rivals.
A reign of terror
Driving up and down the streets of DHA and Clifton is a practice many youngsters have indulged in because the city has only a handful of options for the youth to hang out without facing eve-teasing or getting into fights protecting the honour of the ladies accompanying them, writes Ovais Jafar for Geo News.
The streets were safe, safe to the extent that if you ended up facing the barrel of pistol, you would lose your phone, watch, jewelry and whatever cash you had on your person but that’s where the line was drawn. People were not being murdered in 2008 during a roadside hold up, they were just being robbed.
That’s when the menace of the ‘White Corolla gang’ raised its head. In a society where the respect of a woman is her purity of character the crimes of the white corolla gang were only whispered. Young women were being targeted, they were being raped.
Various modus operandi were narrated, some said the white corolla hit their car to make them stop. Some said they were offered a lift, while another narrated how the white corolla gang held them up as they were driving into their own house.
After relieving their victims of their valuables, the gang would take away the woman at gun point. Even years later, the victims of the ‘White Corolla gang’ are unable to narrate.
The notorious white corolla (AND-578) on rent from a car rental service owned by Hajiano’s brother in law – was the primary vehicle used in the reign of terror, according to then SSP South Shahid Hayat.
The gang would operate between 9:00pm and a little after midnight. The two gang-members would adorn long shaggy wigs to conceal their identity and to appear more intimidating.
The gang also used a black Mercedes-Benz S200 (AEN-796) to transport stolen goods. The expensive Mercedes adorned fancy green plates that read “Advocate High Court” to discourage police from hailing the car. When they were finally arrested, the police found two 9mm pistols, a variety of women’s purses and wallets, 60 Rolex watches, jewelry worth millions of rupees, cell phones as well as ATM cards of various banks.
As Hajiano and Umair terrorised the southern port city’s most posh localities, residents restricted movement of their children, specially their daughters, wives and sisters.
At the time, the CCPO Karachi, Waseem Ahmed deployed surveillance teams and upgraded the vehicles patrolling the streets on the prowl for the ‘White Corolla gang’. While the intelligence bore no fruit, a distress call to the Police helpline 15 on a late Wednesday night rolled the dice that was to end Hajiano’s reign of terror.
A police party from Gizri was dispatched and for a moment trapped the suspects in DHA Phase IV. When the police party hailed the white car to stop, the driver and passenger opened fire. The chase that followed saw bullets flying from both sides. The police finally burst the tires, forcing the white corolla to stop.
Hajiano, not ready to give up tried to hijack another car on the road but his luck had run out.
Hajiano and Umair who made the high and mighty elite of the southern port city feel as vulnerable as the common man were finally apprehended, their eight-month long reign had ended.
Who was Hajiano?
Muhammad Ali Hajiano, a matriculate, was a married man. His wife, an MBBS doctor, and Hajiano were blessed with a child as well. Ali Hajano had been arrested previously for impersonating an army major and demanding the police to release people from lock-ups.
In 2011, local media reported that Hajiano claimed he was being framed by his father’s political enemies including a former president, bureaucrats, military and paramilitary officials as well as leaders of a powerful political party. He claimed his elder brother had been killed and now he was being targeted to exact revenge from his father. He claimed the police chief as well as officers investigating the case had tried to kill him.