May 23rd, 2021
By Shaukat Korai
“We are protesting to seek justice for my grandchild,” says the mother of Younis Brohi who was allegedly beaten to death by police in Karachi. She is narrating the events leading to her son’s death, holding her one-and-half-year-old granddaughter Hamna as neighbours mill around her to express their sympathies in a shanty locality bordering Karachi’s drain, Gujjar Nalla.
While Hamna’s grandmother is mourning the loss of her young son, she is worried too about the future of her innocent granddaughter, the only child of her late son. Younis Brohi, a resident of Karachi, left home to bring breakfast for his family on the morning of May 18, but on the way, police allegedly rained sticks and stones on him, causing him to fall into the Gujjar Nalla and drown.
A resident says Younis Brohi stopped on his way to talk with a group of his acquaintances when two policemen charged on the group. All of them ran away, but the cops caught onto Younis Brohi when he fell. “The cops mercilessly beat him up dead in the drain,” he tells Voicepk.net.
Another local resident and an eyewitness, Khatun Basra, says she saw two police officers beating and abusing Younis Brohi. She even heard one of the police officials yelling at his colleague to bring Brohi out of the drain, but it was too late to save him. “I can identify the two policemen who tortured Brohi to death,” she says.
Younis Brohi’s mother says she will go to any lengths to seek justice. She says the police are spreading rumours that Younis died from drowning in the drain. “It is not possible for a person to drown in knee-deep water, not even a small child can drown in it,” she says.
Brohi’s family members protested after his alleged death at the hands of the police. They ended the protest after false assurances from the police that the accused have been arrested and will be produced in court after the completion of the investigation.
The people of Younis Brohi’s neighborhood are disappointed with the police investigation into the death. They say police has so far failed to identify those responsible for the young man’s death.
On the other hand, police contest the version put forward by Brohi’s family about the cause of his death. Investigation officer Inspector Zulfiqar says nor any accused has been arrested in the case neither it has been confirmed that Younis Brohi was killed by the police. He says the cause of death will become clear when Brohi’s autopsy report is received.
Arif Brohi, a social worker in the area, is also not satisfied with the police investigation. He says the police are dragging their feet in the case. Firstly, police had refused to register a case but were forced to do so after the protest, he adds.
Rising incidents of violence at the hands of the police have caused great concern among the citizens. Citizens say they will have no hope of getting justice if the law enforcers themselves turn killers of innocent civilians.