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Karachi police arrested serial killer of women

25 April, 2012

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KARACHI: The police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested a serial killer, who has allegedly killed two women and a girl after sexually assaulting them during the last few months.

He would dismember the bodies of his victims and dump the pieces in different parts of the city. The police also claimed that like a proper serial killer, Rafiq Soomro would commit his crimes on a particular date, the 9th of every month.

A rickshaw driver, Soomro picked his victims from roads as passengers and took them to his house in Patel Para, where he raped them before strangulating them to death. After the murder, he used a knife to cut the bodies into pieces.

SP Jamshed Town Abdul Salam said that they arrested Soomro during a raid in Darban Bazar in Patel Para. During the initial interrogation, the suspect disclosed that he kidnapped woman who traveled alone in his rickshaw (D-37967). Soomro allegedly told the police that he, along with his friend Iqbal alias Puppu, first gang-raped the kidnapped women and then strangulated them. Then, they would cut their bodies into pieces, packed them in gunny bags and dumped them in various parts of the city.

His accomplice, Iqbal, is still at large.The SP said that Soomro had admitted to killing one young girl in Sukkur and two women in Karachi. According to the suspect, he had dumped the body parts of the women in Jamshed Road, Grumandar, Soldier Bazar, Mazar-e-Quaid and MA Jinnah Road.

The SP said that Soomro hailed from Sukkur and had previously been arrested in a sexual harassment and murder case of a nine-year-old girl.One of Soomro's victims was 39-year-old Nasreen. After murdering her, the suspect made a mistake – he made a call from the woman's cell phone. It was then the police traced Soomro.

The police said the mother of five, a resident of Quaidabad, had been kidnapped by Soomro from Mazar-e-Quaid.The SP claimed that the alleged killer suffered from some psychological disorder as there was no apparent motive behind his crimes. Also, there is a pattern in the execution of murders - he killed the women on 9th of every month, the official said.

Psychiatrists said anti-social personality disorder or some psychotic disorders were a few of the mental conditions in which a serial killer would commit such crimes, but added that tools and assessments were available to determine whether this particular man was suffering from any mental illness while committing those crimes.

Commenting on the arrest of Soomro, the psychiatrists said people with "sadistic personalities" could commit such crimes just for thrill or pleasure. Dr Saeed Akhar, a renowned psychiatrist associated with a public psychiatric hospital in Karachi, said anti-social personality disorder could be one of the conditions in which a person could commit murders in a specific manner and pattern, like targeting a particular section of society.

"But in most of the cases in Pakistan, such people commit crimes just for thrill and pleasure, to satisfy their sadistic desires and have no remorse on their acts," he said, adding that the identification of such disorders was possible.

The expert was of the opinion that in societies where people had no fear for punishment, the rate of such crimes was high as criminals believed that they would get away with their acts of crime.

Another Psychiatrist and head of the JPMC's psychiatry department Dr Iqbal Afridi was of the view that personality and psychotic disorders could lead a person to commit anti-social activities, including gruesome murders, but it was not difficult to diagnose such conditions.

"People become psychopath due to certain mental disorders, including the anti-social personality disorder or psychotic disorders, but that can be diagnosed easily with the help of tools and assessments," he said, adding that the British law even described such mental conditions.According to him, the disorder was difficult to treat.


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