Police are probing the incident and collecting initial facts. There are conflicting accounts available regarding the incident.
Police said that five persons had come from Karachi in a car at Keenjhar lake resort in Thatta within the jurisdiction of Keenjhar police station. They hired a launch which is normally used by people for visiting grave that is located in middle of the lake.
“The launch operator told police that tourists told him to pick them up after two hours and when he returned he found bodies with bullet injuries in their skulls,” DIG police Hyderabad range, Akram Naeem Bharoka told Dawn.com over phone.
He said that police are verifying facts as this is just preliminary information.
The deceased are identified as Mohammad Ali Riaz and Adnan Saeed Khan, residents of PECHS Karachi, Sohail Ahmed, a resident of Nazimabad, Bilal Ayub Khan from Chaklala, Rawalpindi and Jehangir Akhtar, a resident of Gilgit. His permanent address, however, is said to be of Ghorabari, Thatta district.
Police officials believed that around seven tourists had arrived at the lake. Another account is that launch operator had fled from scene.
Normally, it takes around 10 to 15 minutes to reach the gravesite of Noori – a character of one of the popular folk romances which is part of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s poetry – from the bank of Keenjhar Lake.
The lake is a famous tourist resort in the lower Sindh region. According to legend, Noori is buried in the middle of the lake. But it is mostly visited during summer season as tourists bath and swim in the lake. Only a small number of people arrive at the lake in winter.
SSP Thatta Haseeb Afzal confirmed these multiple murders and said that police are verifying facts.
“We are checking facts for involvement of others,” he said. He wondered how five persons could be murdered at the gravesite. “There are others who are there and fled after killing them,” he added.
Police sources said that they are cross-verifying statement of boat operator, Gul Mohammad. He is in custody of police reportedly. Source said that he was told by deceased to pick them up after around two hours or they will call him themselves over phone.
“When he didn’t get phone call and sun set was about to take place the boat owner went to gravesite of Noori only to find the bodies with bullet marks in their skull,” said an official.