Karachi: Lyari gang war claims three Katchi victims
KARACHI: Fresh violence resulting from the Lyari gang war spilled onto the streets on Wednesday as three members of the Katchi community, including a former UC Nazim and a member of the Katchi Rabita Committee (KRC), were killed in separate incidents, triggering protests.
The former UC Nazim of Baldia Town was shot dead by two motorcyclists in Baldia Town No-2 as he was sitting outside his gunny bag warehouse. The assailants sprayed 45-year-old Muhammad Umer Katchi with bullets and fled. Warehouse employees were taking him to hospital in a critical condition when he died.
The medico-legal officer of the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital said the victim suffered eight bullet wounds. The station house officer (SHO) of the Baldia police told The News that the victim was the father of five children and lived in the same area where he was targeted. He suspected that Lyari gangsters had a hand in his slaying.
Umer was not the only member of the Katchi community to have lost his life on Wednesday. Twenty-five-year-old Ali Katchi was gunned down in the afternoon in Agra Taj Colony of the Kalri area, while his associate, Imran Katchi, managed to escape just before the assailants could open fire on him. Both were members of the Katchi Rabita Committee (KRC) and residents of Moosa Lane in Baghdadi.
Police sources said the victims had been kidnapped by gangsters after they left home on Wednesday morning. They added that both men had been brutally tortured by the criminals, who later brought them to Agra Taj Colony.
The gangsters placed the victims on the road and opened fire on Ali, who died on the spot. However, Imran managed to escape from the clutches of the assailants before they could riddle him with bullets.
After the incident, members of the KRC shifted the injured to hospital. The committee members also staged a protest against the double murder. Later, residents of Agra Taj Colony, including activists of the KRC, came onto Mauripur Road to protest against the slaughter of people and accused Lyari gangsters of causing the violence. They also lamented the fact that the law enforcement agencies were unable to stop the violence or bring the criminals involved to justice.
In an effort to defuse tensions, SSP Mohammad Aslam Khan of the Anti-Extermism Cell entered Lyari and talked to the protesters on Mauripur Road. The demonstrators dispersed after the police officer assured them that the criminals would be apprehended soon.
Police sources said that the gangsters also kidnapped another two members of the Katchi community on Tuesday night, but they were released after the law enforcers appealed to the abductors. The police assured the kidnappers that an FIR would not be registered if the abductees were released unharmed.
Sajjad and Asif Katchi, the two kidnapped men, were released after assurances were given by a senior officer of District South. The police sources said that both of them were brutally tortured before being set free. As allegedly promised by the police, an FIR was not registered against the culprits.
They said that it was after this incident that the gangsters felt they were in a formidable position as the police negotiated the release of the hostages instead of carrying out a raid.
Reports also came in late on Wednesday night that yet another member of the Katchi community – 22-year-old Arshad – was killed by unidentified men in the Lyari area. His body was shifted to the Civil Hospital.
Also on Wednesday night, three people – Ghani and Noor Muhammad of 40 years of age and 55-year-old Hashim – were wounded in a hand grenade attack on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Road near the Ibrahimi Masjid in Agra Taj Colony. The three were taken to the Jinnah Hospital.
In an unrelated incident, MQM activist Abdul Hafeez’s tortured and bullet-riddled body was found in a gunny bag from the Altaf Nagar area of Manghopir.
The police shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and aired a message regarding the recovery of the corpse. He was a resident of Liaquatabad. He was an activist of the MQM’s Unit 131. Investigators believed this was yet another target killing.