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Student found up in flames succumbs to wounds at CHK

Karachi: An engineering student of Iqra University who had been set on fire by unidentified assailants a month-and-a-half ago on February 19, succumbed to his wounds and related complications on Thursday, said doctors at the Civil Hospital Karachi’s Burns Centre.

Haris Javed, 22, had been thrown out of a hi-roof van on the Shaheed-e-Millat Expressway and set ablaze, three days after his disappearance on February 16.

A few passersby had rescued him and brought him to the Burns Centre for treatment.

“The patient had received up to 35 percent burns,” said a doctor while speaking to The News. “He underwent multiple surgeries at the hospital but he died from multiple-organ failure after he contracted infections.”

The doctor conjectured that the assailants had probably tried to set fire to the young man’s genitals. “We tried our best but he died of related complications,” he said.

A case (FIR no 69/15) had been registered at the Baloch Colony police station against unidentified men under sections 365, 342, 324/34 for abduction, keeping in illegal confinement and attempted murder by the victim’s father.

Baloch Colony SHO Sohail Khan said Javed, who had been kidnapped on February 16, had been conscious after the incident. SHO Khan, citing the victim’s statement, said Javed had been on his way to university when armed men in a hi-roof had tried to kidnap him but he had managed to escape and inform his family.

However, the second attempt of the assailants on February 12 was successful. Javed was picked up and taken to an undisclosed location where he was kept in a small room for two to three days.

SHO Khan said Javed had also claimed that his kidnappers wanted him to place a suspicious bag somewhere in the city. According to Javed, when he had refused the men took him to Defence Phase I and set him ablaze after pouring petrol on his body.

On the other hand, the chief of Sindh Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Raja Umer Khattab, who had been assigned the task of investigating the matter by IGP Ghulam Hyder Jamali, was of the view that there were discrepancies in Javed’s statement about his abduction and burning. He said the investigators were trying to find out the real circumstances behind the incident.

Khattab said the investigators had found a lighter and an empty bottle of petrol. “We also found a hand-written note on him. But we did not find any eye-witnesses corroborating his side of the story that he was indeed thrown off a vehicle and set on fire,” he said.

Moreover, he said, the victim’s father also found a rickshaw driver who had told him that he took his son and a burqa-clad girl somewhere in Defence Phase VII.

“His disappearance complicated the case but we are trying to find out the facts using the available evidence,” said Khattab.

The News