70 sacrificial animals stolen amid rampant street crime in Karachi

Faraz Khan
A sacrificial goat peeks through the entrance gate of a house, ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival in Peshawar, Pakistan June 28, 2023. — Reuters
A sacrificial goat peeks through the entrance gate of a house, ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival in Peshawar, Pakistan June 28, 2023. — Reuters

  • Criminals walk freely on roads of Karachi. 
  • Stolen animals include mostly cows and goats
  • Videos go viral of animal thefts on social media.

KARACHI: While the Karachiites remain at the risk of being mugged all round the year, the menace of street crime does not spare them even during the month of Eid ul Adha, as they get robbed of their sacrificial animals as well.

As the criminals walk freely on the roads of this bustling city, around 70 animals bought by the people for sacrifice this Eid have been stolen. The stolen animals include mostly cows and goats, which are apparently relatively easier to steal, than camels.

The theft of sacrificial animals was at its peak in the city. Social media websites and apps are replete with viral videos showing such thefts.

However, a recent video circulating on social media has shocked everyone because the video clip shows an unidentified man in Karachi stealing a cow within seconds.

The theft of the sacrificial cow in Federal B Area’s Ancholi Society was caught on CCTV camera on June 26. The footage shows a man getting out of an expensive car in the street.

He then easily took away the sacrificial cow after untying it within 10 seconds. The man can be seen walking towards the vehicle parked on the corner of the street.

Earlier, another such video had been circulating on social media that showed people catching a man and his family, who were allegedly stealing sacrificial goats in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood on June 23.

A man and his family were seen driving around Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block 10-A area and stealing sacrificial goats. Some locals spotted the man as he was stealing the goats, with his family, including women and children, sitting in the car.

The area residents caught the man and beat him for stealing the sacrificial animals. The crowd also seized his vehicle as well as shattered its windowpanes.

On June 25, unidentified thieves stole more than a dozen valuable sacrificial animals from a cattle farm located near the Super Highway in the Malir Cantonment area.

More than a dozen animals were stolen from the Muhammadi Cattle Farm, in the vicinity of the Wadi-e-Hussain Graveyard, falling under the jurisdiction of the Malir Cantonment police station.

According to Malik Shahroze, the owner of the cattle farm, 10 to 12 armed men barged onto his farm early in the morning and attacked a security guard and the watchman.

The suspects took the fodder employee hostage at gunpoint and stole the precious sacrificial animals, then made their escape in a pickup truck. The farm’s owner said the stolen animals are worth Rs10 million to Rs15 million, adding that the suspects had beaten his employees after tying them up with ropes.

On June 27, a group of unidentified armed men stole three bulls from a plot in the North Karachi area. The gang barged onto the plot and held the watchman hostage at gunpoint. They then escaped with the three sacrificial bulls worth more than Rs700,000.

A resident named Hasan recovered his cow after searching for it, but the police could not catch the thief. 

He was able to find his cow, which was stolen on June 18, two days later, through social media. The animal had been taken away in a Civic car from a housing society that falls under the jurisdiction of the Sharea Faisal police station.

The cow’s owner had uploaded the CCTV camera footage of the theft, requesting people to help him find his sacrificial animal. The video clip caught the eye of a resident named Suleman, who informed Hasan that his cow was in the Liaquatabad neighbourhood.

As more and more residents of Karachi have been buying their sacrificial animals for the Eid ul Adha festival, thieves in the city have been targeting livestock instead of other valuables.

Some 69 goats, cows and bulls are believed to have been stolen in one and a half months. The incidents of cattle theft have taken place in the North Karachi, Iqbal Market, Frere, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Orangi Town, Sharea Faisal and Federal B Area police jurisdictions.

According to the police, a case of a theft of 40 goats in North Karachi was registered at the Sir Syed police station. The FIR of a theft of four cows in Orangi Town on June 17 was registered at the Iqbal Market police station.

On June 19, a case was registered of theft of five animals in Orangi Town’s Baloch Goth. A case of cow theft in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block 10 was registered at the Sharea Faisal police station.

On June 27, the Ajmair Nagri police registered an FIR on the complaint of a watchman who was held hostage at gunpoint during the robbery of three bulls.

According to the police, in Azizabad’s Yasinabad locality, two goats were stolen by cutting the shutter of a shop. An FIR was also registered at the Frere police station after the theft of an expensive bull. Some 56 sacrificial animals are believed to have been stolen in just one month.