Karachi: CCTV cameras capture gunmen behind minibus massacre
KARACHI: The wave of ‘ethnic violence’ that largely affected Orangi Town on Tuesday spread to other parts of the city on Wednesday, when the most gruesome incident of the day took place early in the morning in Gulshan-i-Iqbal where five men were found shot dead in a minibus.
The minibus, of route D7, was found parked in Block 1 of Gulshan-i-Iqbal containing the five bodies, which the police shifted in a single ambulance to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
The bodies were later identified as those of minibus driver Wali Mehsud, Ghulam Jan, Ahmed Jan and Niaz Jan. A spokesman for the Awami National Party said that the latter three were relatives. They hailed from Bajaur Agency and lived in Landhi.
The fifth victim was later identified as Liaquat Baloch, a resident of Gulberg. His body was found stuffed in a gunny bag, police said. They said the four men were shot in the head by unidentified assailants, while Liaquat Baloch had strangulation marks.
Quoting the conductor of the minibus, who had jumped off the minibus and fled to safety, SSP Niaz Ahmed Khosa told Dawn that the minibus had started its journey at Sohrab Goth for Landhi.
When it reached near the Fazal Flour Mill on Rashid Minhas Road, suspects riding two motorcycles stopped and boarded the bus and held the passengers at gunpoint.
The ill-fated minibus was caught on CCTV cameras at three spots when it was travelling in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. The footage showed two motorcyclists tailing the minibus, a senior police officer told Dawn.
In Gulshan Block 1, two men stopped a van of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station and informed the police that they had heard shots being fired inside the minibus as it passed by.
Subsequently, the police van drove in the direction and soon found the minibus dripping with blood. The spot where the minibus was abandoned was also covered in the CCTV footage obtained by the police in which three suspects could be seen coming out of the minibus and running to the two motorcycles, the police said.
“The minibus stopped at the spot at 5.57am and within a few seconds the three suspects disembarked it and escaped. Two minutes later the police van reached the scene,” said SSP Khosa.
However, the body found stuffed in the gunny bag remained a mystery. Police collected seven spent bullet casings of 9mm and .30-bore pistols in the minibus. The family of the murdered driver said Wali Mehsud, 26, had married about six months back.
In other incidents of violence, the body of a young man bearing a gunshot wound was found within the remit of the Mauripur police station. The police said the victim was later identified as Nasir Khan, an ANP activist. The victim was a resident of Rasheedabad.
Police said that later when the body was taken to his home in Rasheedabad, people in Baldia resorted to indiscriminate firing in the area that resulted in the death of Salman Shaikh, a factory worker who was going for lunch. The incident occurred within the jurisdiction of the Site-B police station.
His body was taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medico-legal formalities. In the Muslimabad area of Orangi Town, Sharafat was killed and two others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on them.
A spokesman for the ANP claimed that Sharafat was a party worker. His body was taken to the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town. Meanwhile, two persons wounded in Orangi Town on Tuesday died in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital on Wednesday, hospital sources said.
They were identified as Jahan Bibi, who was brought from Qasba 2½, and Rameez. In the early hours of Wednesday, Naresh Kumar, 23, was killed by unidentified assailants riding motorcycles within the remit of the Napier police station.
The victim was a resident of Murad Memon Goth and had come to Lyari to attend a family gathering, the police said. Similarly, also in the early hours of Wednesday, another young man, Shaaban, was shot dead in Khadda Market. The victim was a resident of Nayabad.
On Wednesday, two men were targeted in a different incident in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and North Nazimabad, police said. In the first incident, Haji Abdussalman, 25, was targeted by gunmen riding a motorcycle near the Dhaka Sweets shop in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. The victim was rushed to a private hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The police said a pistol was found in the possession of the dead.
In North Nazimabad, a man was killed within the remit of the Shahrah-i-Noor Jahan police station. The North Nazimabad SP said Asghar Khan, 40, was on the rooftop of his house when he was hit by a bullet. Police said he did not have any political affiliation.
However, a spokesman for the ANP said that Asghar Khan, son of Umar Khattab, was the vice president of its Ward UC-2. Orangi Town SP Khurram Waris said that 12 suspects were arrested in different parts of the town and weapons were seized from them.
As many as 10 people were killed and dozens others were wounded in violence on Tuesday. As firing continued and tension prevailed on a second day of violence, residents of Qasba Colony, Kati Pahari and other parts of Orangi Town remained confined to their homes and ran short of basic commodities of daily use.