‘Ethnic violence’ hits Orangi
KARACHI: While a part of the city descended into violence that left 10 people dead and dozens of others wounded on Tuesday, police appeared powerless to stem the wave of violence and Rangers were conspicuous by their absence from strife-torn localities.
Besides the loss of life, some houses were ransacked and a car was set ablaze by arsonists during the violence which erupted following an armed attack on the district information secretary of the Awami National Party in Qasba Colony.
City police chief Saud Ahmed Mirza described the violence as “political and definitely ethnic”. He said two partners in the coalition government were involved in it.
“Earlier in the day, they fought at Micasa Apartments and a subsequent attack on [Rahim Khan] Swati apparently triggered the violence,” the police chief said.
Karachi ANP Information Secretary Rahim Khan Swati was passing through the Qasba Colony area in his car when he was attacked by armed riders near Madina Hotel within the remit of the Pirabad police station, said Orangi Town SP Khurram Waris.
The wounded information secretary was rushed to a private university hospital on Stadium Road. He was admitted for treatment, the police said.
Following the attack on Mr Swati, violence spread to other parts of Orangi Town — Qasba Colony, Kati Pahari, Kali Pahari, Banaras Colony, Muslim Colony and Bukhari Colony — which reverberated with intense firing.
Area people said armed men exchanged gunfire after entrenching themselves at certain points. They added that a house located near Kati Pahari was also attacked. Some armed men ransacked it, forcing residents to run for safety.
During the firing, Hidayatullah, 35, Gul Nawab, 40, and Salahuddin, 35, suffered fatal gunshot wounds while several others, including Mushtaq, Rafiq, Asif, Rameez and Zohaib, were wounded.
Another wounded man, Aijaz, died at the Qatar hospital, the police said. His body was later shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
In all, 16 wounded persons were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Qatar hospital and civil hospital, said hospital sources.
Sources at the Civil Hospital Karachi said Javed Akber, 25, was brought dead from Qasba No 2-1/2. The victim had suffered a gunshot wound in the head, they said.
A medico-legal officer at the hospital said that the victim’s family took away the body without allowing a post-mortem examination.
Similarly, at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, a person was brought dead with a gunshot wound from Qasba 2-½ area. The victim had not yet been identified, hospital sources said.
Two passengers were killed and three others wounded when assailants opened fire on a bus of route 60 in Qasba Colony, the police said.
They added that the bus stopped at a safe distance from the site of the attack and the wounded persons were shifted into ambulances and taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where one of them died.
The person killed in the firing on the bus was later identified as Gul Khan. Sources at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital said that another wounded person died during treatment.
A man was killed and another wounded in an attack near Hina Bakery in the evening in Orangi Town, said SP Khurram Waris. The victims remained unidentified, the police said.
In the late hours, 24-year-old Kamran was shot dead while he was returning home on his motorbike in Sector 11-1/2 of Orangi Town, the police said.
Earlier during the day, intense firing was reported from Micasa Apartments near Hasan Square where activists of the Awami National Party had gathered, police said.
The police added that they wanted to proceed to the DIG East office to stage a protest demonstration there against what they described as arrests of their workers in Korangi.
Some activists of the party’s student wing had earlier gathered at the Urdu university, where according to the police someone fired shots into the air. This triggered firing carried out from the Micasa Apartment where the party’s office is located, the police said. The firing left three men wounded and they were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, the police said.
They said a journalist associated with TV channel Metro One also suffered a gunshot wound in the firing. Zulfikar Peerzada was on the rooftop of a building for coverage when a bullet pierced through his arm, an official said.