Fear grips Karachi after killing of six political activists, one policeman
KARACHI: Six activists of three political parties and a policeman were gunned down in separate incidents, sparking intermittent firing in the densely-populated localities of Gulistan-i-Jauhar and Orangi Town and forcing shopkeepers to pull down shutters on Wednesday. Transport remained off the roads in the strife-torn localities.
As the death toll in the ongoing targeted killings reached 15 during the fortnight despite the claims from the police authorities, political commitment assured by the coalition partners in the provincial government and special powers given to the paramilitary force to take action against criminals, a lasting peace in Karachi seems to remain a distant dream for many people.
The fresh spate of killings began in the early hours of Wednesday when two workers of the Awami National Party were targeted within a span of an hour in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
“Thirty-eight-year-old Khayal Wazir was found shot dead in Pehalwan Goth only a few hours after he went missing,” said an official at the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station. “He was an area resident and a fruit vendor.”
In the same area, another activist of the ANP was found seriously wounded about half-an-hour later. The police shifted the victim, Saleem Khan, who had suffered gunshot wounds and injuries inflicted by torture, to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where he died during treatment.
An ANP spokesman said the victims were their party workers and each one of them was kidnapped before being tortured and shot dead.
The killings caused tension and panic in the area that reverberated with frequent gunfire even after sunrise.
Yet another worker of the ANP, Abdul Ghani, was targeted in the Pehalwan Goth area in the morning while he was on his way to attend the funeral prayers of the two party workers.
“The body of Abdul Ghani was found lying in an open plot with two bullet wounds each in the chest and the right hand,” said the official at the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station.
Although the police showed unawareness about the motive and the people behind killings of three activists of the same party in less than 12 hours, ANP chief Shahi Syed claimed that his party workers were targeted because of their political association.
“We would not let the conspirators against the city succeed. But at the same we expect the provincial administration, including the chief and home ministers, to move before it`s too late,” he said.
Just a couple of hours later, a young activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was found shot dead in Malir, police said.
An official at the Khokhrapar police station said Adil Ahmed, in his mid 20s, was found shot dead in an open plot in Khokhrapar No 5. “The body was in fact wrapped in a gunny bag and spotted by some people,” said the official, adding that the victim was an area resident and associated with the Malir Unit-98 of the MQM organisational structure.
In the evening, a policeman and an official of the city district government said to be associated with the MQM were killed within a span of an hour in separate incidents of firing in Orangi Town.
Police said that armed men riding a motorcycle spotted head constable Rana Sohail alias Aakhri Baloch chatting with some friends close to his residence near Qazzafi Chowk in Orangi Town No 1. “One of the attackers opened fire on the head constable, killing him on the spot and wounding his friends, Naushad and Ahmed,” said an official at the Orangi Town police station.
The victim was posted in the security branch of the Sindh police.
Later, three men riding two motorbikes opened fire on a group of people in Sector 11Â½ of the town. Shakir Ali, 39, was killed and six others were wounded in the attack. The victims were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
“Shakir Ali was a senior MQM worker and an employee of the city district government,” said an official at the Manghopir police station.
“He used to visit Orangi Town frequently from where he had shifted his residence a couple of years ago to North Nazimabad.”
In the late hours of Wednesday, a 26-year-old activist of the Pakistan People`s Party was gunned down in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area.
“Sajjad Shah along with his friends was at a teashop near Jauhar Chowrangi when he was shot dead by two armed motorcyclists,” said an official at the Sharea Faisal police station.
A spokesman for the PPP said that the victim was their party worker.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.