3 lawyers killed in Karachi sectarian attack — Video
KARACHI: Three lawyers were shot dead and a fourth was wounded here on Wednesday in what appeared to be a targeted sectarian attack. Gunmen sprayed the lawyers’ car with bullets on Maulana Din Mohammad Wafai Road near Pakistan Chowk when they were going home from City Courts. One of the deceased was a senior lawyer and the others his son and nephew.
Four men on two motorcycles carried out the attack at around 3:06 pm, according to SDPO Preedy Subdivision ASP Ali Asif.
They intercepted the car and two pillion-riders got down and opened fire.
Although the lawyer who was driving the car suffered bullet wounds, he drove the vehicle to Civil Hospital, SSP South Naeem Ahmed Shaikh said. “They fired five to six shots, we have found four spent bullet casings of a 9mm pistol and one casing of a 30-bore pistol,” he said.
The windscreen of the car was smashed.
The assailants managed to flee despite the presence of a police van outside the nearby office of a daily newspaper.
Three policemen, who were in the van but did not act to arrest or kill the assailants, were detained by police on the orders of the SSP South pending a departmental inquiry.
The policemen were part of the security escort of the editor of the newspaper.
Badar Munir Jafri, 65, his son Gohar Shakil Jafri, 34, and nephew Kafil Ahmed Jafri were pronounced dead at the hospital, while the injured, Babar Ali Jafri, was taken to the operation theatre and after surgery shifted to the Surgical ICU.
Kafil Ahmed Jafri was to get married on 17 Rabiul Awwal.
According to police and some lawyers, the four advocates were members of the legal aid committee of the Shia Lawyers Forum, but at present they were not handling any high-profile case.
The bodies were shifted to Husaini Jamia Masjid in Malir, Saudabad.
The incident sparked protests in the localities of Malir, Saudabad and Jafar Tayyar Society. Protesters started firing in the air and forced businesses to close. Reports of tension were also received from other areas, including Rizvia Society, Abbas Town and Ancholi in Federal B. Area.
A portion of the National Highway was closed to traffic after enraged people erected barricades and burned tyres. An Edhi ambulance was set on fire in Malir.
The Shia Ulema Council has announced three days of mourning.
The funeral prayers will be offered at Sharea Faisal (National Highway) after Zohr prayers on Thursday.
On the call of the Karachi Bar Association, legal fraternity will observe a complete boycott of courts on Thursday.
KBA President Mahmoodul Hasan condemned the murders and said the lawyers would stay away from courts and hold a condolence reference.
He called upon the government to take immediate steps to stop the killing of lawyers.
Sindh Bar Council’s Vice Chairman Iftikhar Javed Qazi also condemned the killings and said the SBC had endorsed the call given by the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association for a countrywide strike. On Jan 11, Advocate Maqboolur Rehman was killed on New M.A. Jinnah Road in the Jamshed Quarters area.
Last year, 20 lawyers were killed in Sindh, 15 of them in Karachi, according to the Karachi Bar Council.