Late-night scuffle: Mystery deepens over cinema guard’s shooting

Just two months ago, 33-year-old Muhammad Asif was blessed with a son. He had many dreams for his newborn boy, but an unfortunate incident took his life and ended his dreams.

Asif was shot and killed early Friday during a scuffle at Karachi’s Nueplex Cinema, where he had been working for the past five months as a security guard.

His working hours were from 6pm to 4am. The incident took place a little before he had completed his shift and was about to leave for his house in Shirin Jinnah Colony.

The family of the slain security guard as well as his colleagues accuse the stepson of Balochistan’s former governor for taking Asif’s life.

“We just know that the two men forcibly tried to enter the cinema,” the victim’s colleague toldThe Express Tribune. “Asif requested them to go back as the cinema had been closed for visitors but they tried to break in. After they were not allowed, they started smashing windowpanes of the cars parked outside the cinema. When Asif and another guard intervened, a bullet was fired and he was killed.”

But no one knows who fired the bullet.

“What was my brother’s fault? He was just trying to stop someone from doing anything wrong,” said Asif’s brother, Asim, who is also the complainant in the case. “He had so many dreams for his son. He had not even seen his son crawl. My brother spent his life in poverty but he had vowed that his son would not live a similar life.”

He said that he does not want any compensation from the suspects’ family but he wants justice.

However, there is the possibility that Asif was shot accidently by the other guard on duty.

But the victim’s colleagues’ made the Favian Magsi and his friend Aurangzaib Mehmood responsible but they were unaware of how the incident actually took place. Both Magsi and Mehmood have also been arrested and booked for murder, along with the other guard on duty.

The cinema’s administration confirmed that the deceased and arrested guard were their employees but clarified that the incident took place outside the building. “The incident had no link to the cinema. The last show had ended when the incident took place,” the administration’s representative told The Express Tribune. “The guards should not have intervened because the men were damaging cars outside the building.”

The police have yet to ascertain the actualities of the incident. The media was not allowed to visit the arrested persons, however, after registering the FIR, investigators have recorded the initial statements of the accused. “It is confirmed that both the guys were drunk. Magsi and Mehmood have confessed that they had been drinking and a scuffle took place with the guards outside the cinema,” Investigations SSP Faizullah Karejo told The Express Tribune.

However, the two claim that they did not snatch the gun from one guard and shoot the second guard. Instead, “the guard mistakenly fired, which killed Asif,” he quoted the suspects as saying.

The officer also said that the arrested guard initially told the police that he had fired accidently but later he changed his initial statement and said he had no idea about what happened. “These are the initial statements and we cannot rely on them because the suspects are scared and do not give actual statements in the beginning,” SSP Karejo explained. “But we still need to record the statements of witnesses.”

The police have asked the cinema administration to provide CCTV camera footage that would also prove helpful during investigations.

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