Karachi: Young man killed in clash over mosque
KARACHI, July 1: A young man was killed and about a dozen people, including a woman, were wounded in an armed clash between two religious groups in Landhi on Friday allegedly over the administrative control of an area mosque, police said.
They said the clash erupted in the second half of the day when a group winning verdict in its favour from the Sindh High Court for the administrative control of the mosque, named Ummul Qura, in Landhi 5½ near Gosht Market, opened the seal and started arrangements for some construction work inside the mosque.
“It’s an old dispute between two groups –– the Sunni Tehreek and Ahl-i-Hadees –– over the administrative control of the mosque,” said SP Haseeb Baig of Landhi Town. “After a series of clashes, a few months ago both moved the high court claiming their right to manage the administration. However, the high court came up with the verdict in favour of the Ahl-i-Hadees group.”
He said activists associated with the Ahl-i-Hadees group gathered after Friday prayers at the mosque, where no prayers had been held for the last few months as the matter was in court and the mosque was sealed. The clash sparked when Sunni Tehreek activists also gathered at the site to prevent construction activity.
The area police said the arguments from both sides led to a scuffle and finally firing, which claimed a young man’s life and left a dozen other injured that included a woman.
“The deceased has been identified as 35-year-old Mohsin Niaz,” said an official at the Landhi police station. “The injured included Jamila Begum, Sultan Ahmed, Orangzaib, Umer Hammad, Muhammad Haris, Kamran Khan, Muhammad Babar, Rehan Qadri, Nadir Ali, Usman Attari, Maulana Nazeer Ahmed and Abdul Mujeeb Ahmed, who sustained bullet wounds and shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for the treatment.”
Though the police and Rangers took over the situation after a 30-minute-long episode, tension prevailed in the vicinity with intermittent gunfire, which forced the traders to pull down shutters and kept the vehicular traffic off the roads. The police said the patrolling had been enhanced in the affected parts of the town while leaders from both sides were being engaged to defuse the tension.
“We are in contact with both parties and trying to bring them to talks and trace the suspects involved in the armed clash,” said SP Baig of Landhi Town.