RAWALPINDI - Unknown assailants brutally shot dead a retired brigadier of Army Medical Corps along with his wife and two daughters in their bedrooms at a bungalow in Al-Shifa Eye Trust residential colony on Tuesday.
The deceased were identified as Brig (retd) Dr Sikandar Ali Malik, an orthopaedic surgeon in AMC, currently working as Yusra Medical College director, his wife Shahida Sikandar and two of his daughters, Fatima Sikandar, 20, and Zainab Sikandar, 23.
However, the son of the deceased army officer, Captain Dr Haider Ali, also a doctor in AMC and posted at Kharian, survived the deadliest attack as he was asleep in his bedroom.
A heavy contingent of police, led by Potohar SP Haroon Joiya and SP Chaudhry Muhammad Hanif, Rescue 1122, officials of intelligence agencies and other law-enforcers rushed to the crime scene and found the dead bodies of the middle-aged couple and their young daughters in their bedrooms.
The police cordoned off the whole area, collected evidences, finger prints, empty shells of bullets from the bedrooms and recorded the statements of the eldest son of the deceased army officer and other relatives.
An army team, led by a captain, also reached the area who did not allow media people to cover the scene.
The incident came to light when Haider Ali informed his uncle Gen (r) Noor Khan about the killing of his family at 7:30am. Noor Khan informed the police who reached the crime scene and took the dead bodies into their custody.
Haider Ali, the lone survivor, told the police, “I was sleeping in my bedroom when I heard noise of firing at 5am. I got scared and did not step out. I found my parents and two sisters dead in their bedrooms when I came out at dawn.” However, some policemen said there was a sharp contradiction in the statements of Haider and his uncle as the former said he heard two gunshots while the latter claimed the killers fired four bullets.
Another police officer quoted Haider Ali as saying the killers might be entered the house through the kitchen as the family never closed its door before going to bed.
SP Haroon Joiya told media men said there was contradiction in the statements of Haider Ali and his uncle as the son said he heard two gunshots while his brother said he heard four shots, but none of them got out to check what had happened in their house.
He said possibility of a target killing could not be ruled out as the deceased belonged to Shia sect. Enmity over property might be a reason. When asked if the incident could be the result of sectarianism, the SP answered in the negative.
When a reporter questioned it might be possible that the brigadier first killed his family and then committed suicide, the SP the police are also investigating the case on these lines.
A police officer told The Nation there is a possibility that some intoxicant was given to the victims before killing as there were no signs of movement of bodies found on their beds. “The bodies’ positions clearly showed they were shot from a close range and were given some piousness stuff to make them unconscious,” said the police officer having two empty shells of bullets in his hand.
He said all the doors were locked from inside. The door of the room in which the girls were sleeping was locked from inside and could not be opened without keys. “The killer approached the girls by opening the lock from outside with the help of a key.”
The medical board which conducted the postmortem said the deceased received four bullet injuries each. The report also doubted that the deceased were given poisonous pills.