Hyderabad: Transport union chief’s son killed over 3.5 acres
HYDERABAD: A shouting match over the ownership of 3.5 acres in Halanaka escalated into an exchange of fire that ultimately led to the death of Samiuddin Mehsud, the son of the president of the Sindh Goods Transport Owners’ Association (GTOA).
He and his father, Haji Asmatullah Mehsud, who was also the former senior vice president of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Sindh, were attacked by armed men on Sunday when they tried to stop construction work on a plot of land located near the National Highway. Mehsud was shot twice and his son once. Samiuddin succumbed to the injury near Nooriabad while he was being shifted to a hospital in Karachi on Sunday night. His body was sent to Tank in South Waziristan for burial on Monday. Asmatullah Mehsud is being treated at a hospital in Karachi.
The vice president of the GTOA, Syed Shafiq Shah, said that the incident occurred against the backdrop of a controversy over the ownership of the land, which he said was to be used as a new truck stand at Halanaka. “The administration had allotted this land for the truck stand in 1988 and by 1990, we had settled in the area,” he said.
A few days ago, Mehsud expressed his fear over a possible breakdown in the law and order situation if the police did not take action and end the dispute. He accused a man named Mir Sahib Khan and his men for illegally occupying the land and said that the group was a ‘mafia’.
“The situation had been tense in the area over the last ten days,” Shah told The Express Tribune. He said that Asmatullah had taken up the issue with the DIG of Hyderabad, Sanaullah Abbasi, and the former DPO, Pir Farid Jan Sarhindi. “He met with the DIG on November 18 and requested the law enforcers to take the plot into custody until the court settled the matter,” Shah said. He criticised the police for being too slow to act. He also accused a provincial minister and a leader of a coalition party for of involvement in the dispute.
The Sindh Bus Owners’ Association issued a statement condemning the attack and demanded the arrest of the suspects. The president of the association, Mir Afzal Khan, said that the government had failed to put a stop to crimes affecting bus owners.
For their part, Mir Sahib Khan and Chaudhry Shahbaz staged a protest outside the press club on Monday and said that it was Mehsud who had illegally taken over the plot of land. However, they could not be immediately reached for comment. ANP leaders have also condemned the attack and held a meeting on the matter on Monday night.