Karachi: 10 more killed as ‘ethnic violence’ continues
KARACHI, June 15: Ten more people were killed in separate incidents on Wednesday as violence on ‘ethnic and political grounds’ continued unabated in the city, pushing the death toll to 23 in over three days.
Orangi Town remained the worst-hit part of the metropolis where most of the causalities occurred.
Tension and panic continued to grip Qasba Colony and Aligarh Colony on a third consecutive day as residents stayed indoors and those who left early on Monday for their workplaces were still unable to return home due to the deteriorating law and order situation.
The bullet-riddled body of a student activist of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation, who had gone missing from the Liaquat National Hospital after an armed attack, was found near Essa Nagri under the Lyari Expressway in the early hours of Wednesday.
“The victim was identified as 23-year-old Saad Asad, who was a resident of Azizabad,” said an official at the Sharifabad police station.
“He went missing from the Liaquat National Hospital an hour after the clash between two student organisations. An FIR of his kidnapping was already lodged with the New Town police station and now they will also investigate the murder case.”
He said the victim was a student of the Federal Urdu University and said to be associated with the APMSO.
Armed motorcyclists targeted two activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the New Karachi area, police said.
They said 35-year-old Haroon Shaukat died on the spot after sustaining a bullet wound in the head while 45-year-old Farooq Hanif sustained two bullet wounds in the shoulder and chest and was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.
“The incident occurred in Sector 5C-2 near a place known as Peela School. Both victims were workers of the MQM and residents of the same area,” said an official at the Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police station.
In Orangi Town, armed men continued to engage law-enforcers and despite enhanced patrolling of the police and the Rangers, they struck again and again and disappeared without leaving any trace for investigators.
A few minutes before sunrise, assailants gunned down a police constable, 42-year-old Muhammad Arif, near Aziz Millat School in Sector 5F-2 in Orangi Town No 13 when he was riding home after completing his duty hours.
“The victim was associated with the Orangi Town police station and was posted as a police guard at the Orangi Town office. Due to a vulnerable situation in the town, he was called in for extra duty in one of the strife-hit pockets,” said an official at the Pakistan Bazaar police station.
The body of a middle-aged man was found in a storm-water drain near the Bacha Khan flyover in Banaras within the remit of the Paposh Nagar police post.
The body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities, from where it was shifted to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth for want of identification. The body bore severe torture marks.
The sound of heavy gunfire continued to reverberate through Kali Pahari, Kati Pahari, Qasba Colony, Bukhari Colony, Aligarh Colony, Gulfamabad, Ismalia Colony and Muslimabad, where no business activity took place.
In the afternoon, a police mobile of the SITE-A police station came under an armed attack near Qasba Colony that left a police constable, Javed Shah, wounded, said an official at the Pirabad police station.
Later in the day, assailants shot dead 28-year-old Tahir Karim and wounded his 26-year-old friend, Akhtar Khan, when they were travelling in a rickshaw near Shah Faisal Muhallah within the remit of the Orangi Town police station.
“The rickshaw driver escaped unhurt and he kept driving and reached the Valika Hospital along with the dead and the wounded victim,” said an official at the Orangi Town police station.
As the leaders of the Awami National Party and the MQM sat again with their major coalition partner, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), to restore peace to the city, guns did not fall silent after sunset in Orangi Town where two more men were shot dead in separate armed attacks.
In the first such incident, assailants shot dead a young man in Qasba Colony within the remit of the Pirabad police station.
The area police said the victim was in his mid-20s and could not be identified. The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi.
A few minutes later the assailants struck again and targeted another man, who was the administrator of an Imambargah.
“Thirty-eight-year-old Shahid Hussain Zaidi was shot dead by armed riders near Muhammadpur police post. He was the administrator of Moajzaati Imambargah in the area,” said an official at the Pirabad police station.
He, however, ruled out that the killing was motivated by sectarian reasons, saying he might have been killed due to his ethnicity. The high-ups of the provincial security administration were somehow agreed with the assessment. They said that in many cases in the incidents of violence it was seen that the killings were motivated by ethnic reasons.
“Miscreants were executing their job in a way that one can only see ethnic reasons behind the violence. We have increased the number of Rangers and the police in strife-hit areas of Orangi Town and they have engaged local communities to dispel the ethnic divide impression,” said home department official Sharfuddin Memon.
Later in the evening, a man was killed and three others wounded when assailants opened indiscriminate fire at a roadside tea stall near Shafiq Morr.
An official at the Samanabad police station said that four men on two motorbikes attacked New Quetta Hashmi Hotel near Shafiq Morr and escaped.
“A man, later identified as Shabbir Agha, was killed in the firing while three others were wounded and were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The victim was in his late-40s,” he added.