Rangers man, constable among four shot dead in Karachi violence
KARACHI: At least four people, including a Rangers official and a policeman, were killed in violence in the city on Friday following a shutdown strike called by certain political parties against the worsening power crisis and in support of the striking workers of the Karachi Electric Supply Company.
Some nine vehicles were also set on fire in separate arson attacks, officials said. Tension gripped the city late on Thursday after firing incidents and arson attacks, apparently carried out to enforce the strike. The officials said scattered incidents of firing and arson reemerged after sunrise.
In the first such incident, a 60-year-old man was killed by armed riders while he was waiting for a bus on University Road. The area police said four youngsters on two motorbikes restored to random firing apparently to harass traders into pulling down their shutters.
“Badal Gul Muhammad was standing in front of a roadside restaurant near the Meteorological office when he was hit by a bullet in the head. He was a labourer and resident of Sachal Goth,” said an official at the Mubina Town police station.
Almost the same incident was witnessed near the NIPA bus stop, where a youngster was killed. “There is a fuel station along Rahsid Minhas Road near the NIPA bus stop where armed men on motorbikes fired multiple shots. The firing caused panic and one of the bullets hit 32-year-old Syed Ali Shah,” said an official at the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station.
The deadliest episode was, however, witnessed near Al-Asif Square on the Superhighway, where a shootout between law-enforcers and suspects claimed the life of a haveldar of the Rangers’ and left two police officers badly wounded. Three passersby were also wounded in crossfire.
“There had been disturbances in the area since morning with frequent gunfire and arson activities on and around the main Superhighway,” said DSP Ahmed Baig.
“The police force backed by the Rangers reached the spot and were taking position to disperse the miscreants when they came under fire near Al-Asif Square. The police and Rangers responded, but two policemen and a Rangers official sustained bullet wounds.”
Mumtaz Ahmed, a 35-year-old haveldar of the Bhitai Rangers, died while being treated at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Police officers –45-year-old Sub-Inspector Nawaz Lashari and 42-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector Kahdim Hussain –– were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment.
“Both officers are associated with the Sachal police station and are said to be stable now. The dead Rangers official hailed from Rawalpindi. Three passersby –– Iqbal, Anwar and Mushatq –– were also wounded in the shooting. They are also being treated at the JPMC,” added the DSP.
At the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, a police constable who had sustained bullet injuries late on Thursday in Orangi Town, died from wounds in the early hours of Friday.
An official at the Pirabad police station said 48-year-old Mukhtiar Ahmed was riding his motorbike home when came under fire in the area between Banaras Chowk and Qasba Colony.
“He was posted at the Orangi Town police station and lived in Sector 10 of the town. Armed riders were prowling in the area late on Thursday and firing randomly ahead of Friday’s strike. It seems Mukhtiar Ahmed became a victim of the same firing,” added the official.
Some 12 more injured people –– with minor and major bullet wounds –– were also brought to the city’s three major public sector health facilities –– the JPMC, Civil Hospital and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital –– from violence-hit areas. Meanwhile arson attacks triggered late on Thursday continued into Friday.
Nine vehicles were destroyed in the attacks while three were partially damaged. The central fire station recorded 12 complaints of vehicles being ablaze during the day.
“Two trucks –– TPO 4712 and TLH 765 –– were set on fire on the Superhighway within the remit of the Sachal police station. In the same area two cars also met the same fate. A truck was set on fire near Toll Plaza in Gadap Town,” said a fire department official.
In Gulistan-i-Jauhar, he said, a car was set on fire near Pehlawan Goth while a minibus of route M-1 (JE 5161) was seen ablaze at the Baloch Colony flyover crossing over Sharea Faisal. In Orangi Town, near Shahzad cinema, a motorbike (KPI 9071) and a rickshaw were set on fire.
Similar attempts were made on three different vehicles on the main University Road but they were prevented from complete destruction, added the official.