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Co-accused in Kashmore rape case kills main suspect in clash with police party

HYDERABAD/KARACHI: Rafiq Malik — the main suspect arrested on Wednesday for allegedly subjecting a woman and her under-five daughter to sexual assault — was killed in what police claimed to be an attack by one of his two co-accused, Khairullah Bugti, in the Bakhshapur area of Kandhkot-Kashmore district on Friday.

A woman, said to be beggar, had lodged an FIR at the Kashmore police station a few days ago alleging Malik of luring her to a better place at toll plaza in Kashmore for seeking alms. She stated that Malik and another man subjected her to rape and kept her under-five daughter in custody. She further alleged that Malik subjected her daughter to rape as well and was told that the girl would be restored to her only when she would provide them another woman from Karachi. She stated that she was given some money to go back to Karachi and return with the other woman.

According to sources, a police team along with Malik proceeded to Bakhshapur on the under-custody suspect’s lead about the hideout of his alleged accomplice, Bugti. When the police team reached near RD-109 locality along the Sindh-Balochistan border, it was attacked with firearms. In the ensuing gun battle, Rafiq Malik was hit by bullets fired by the attacker, who later turned out to be Khairullah Bugti, the police said.

Police party attacked by co-accused nearhis hide out, says Larkana DIG

Malik died on the spot and Bugti was arrested after the encounter. The weapon he used in the attack was seized, they added.

Larkana DIG Nasir Aftab confirmed to Dawn that “Rafiq Malik was killed in firing by his co-accused Khairullah Bugti”. He said Bugti resorted to firing when Malik was being taken to his [Bugti’s] hideout. After an exchange of fire, Bugti was arrested and his rifle was seized, the DIG said. Bugti was hiding at a shrine near Bakhshapur, he added.

Kashmore SSP Amjad Ali Shaikh had said on Thursday that Bugti also subjected the woman to rape but spared her minor daughter.

The FIR registered against the suspects also mentioned that an unknown person was present at the place where she was criminally assaulted. The woman had reportedly declined to register her case, therefore, police had become complainant on behalf of the state.

Newspaper: Dawn, The Express Tribune