All that’s wrong

Published: June 12, 2011

I don’t feel sorry for Shah. Why should I? The man was robbing someone after all.

What do you do when the very people who vow to guard your life end up being the ones taking it?

On Wednesday, a horrific incident unfolded when some Rangers personnel shot dead a young man at Benazir Bhutto Park in Karachi.

Initially, the police and Rangers claimed they were informed that a dacoit had held a family hostage in the park. According to the security personnel, they went inside the park and asked the man to surrender, and when he refused, he was shot “in retaliation”.

However, video footage of the incident shot by a cameraman shed new light on the official version of the unfortunate event. It became clear that 19-year-old Sarfaraz Shah died after he was shot at point-blank range – and he was unarmed.

As it turns out, Shah suffered bullet injuries in the thigh and the hand and died as a result of excessive bleeding. Doctors at Jinnah Hospital, where he was taken over half an hour after being shot, said if he had been brought in earlier, he would have, in all likelihood, survived. The incidental clip of the shocking event begins with Shah being handed over to the Rangers. He was unarmed from the beginning [his weapon had been seized] and was asking the Rangers for forgiveness, saying he was robbing out of desperation.

Five Rangers personnel surround the young man. Feeling the obvious threat, the boy begs them not to shoot. They shoot — twice. The young man screams in pain, yelling “My arm! My arm’s gone!” He looks around at the security personnel for help, whimpering in pain, begging them, “Please, please take me to a hospital, save my life.”

The Rangers walk away. The man curls up on the ground and the video ends there. I don’t feel sorry for Shah. Why should I? The man was robbing someone after all – he even admits it in the video. But what the Rangers did is a far greater wrong, and they’re supposed to be the ones enforcing the law. So where do we go from here?

Authorities have registered a case against the Rangers personnel involved in the shooting is what we’re told. Prime Minister Gilani has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

We all know how that goes – or have we already forgotten the Sialkot lynching?

Saarysh Zuberi

Saarysh Zuberi

An independent filmmaker, currently working as a sub-editor at the National desk of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.