Karachi: Youth’s killing sparks violence in Lyari
KARACHI: The old city areas descended into chaos with groups of youths seen brandishing weapons in streets and occasionally firing into the air following the killing of a young man in public in the Kalri area of Lyari on Wednesday afternoon. Later in what appeared to be related incidents, a former union council nazim said to be also belonging to the Kutchhi community was killed in Baldia Town, an armoured personnel carrier of police came under a gun attack on the Lyari Expressway, and a rocket fired from an unidentified location landed in front of the house of a Kutchhi Rabita Committee office-bearer.
No casualty was reported in the gun and rocket attacks. While law-enforcers were missing at a number of troubled spots, some senior officers along with heavy contingents of police were seen on Mauripur Road holding talks with representatives of the community who attempted to lodge a protest by marching towards the Bilawal House.
Trouble started when two youngsters were kidnapped on Ahmed Shah Bukhari Road, police said.
The official said that Ali Mohammad aka Baba, who worked at Urdu Bazaar, and Imran Yousuf, who had a welding shop in Garden, were riding their motorbike when they were intercepted by armed men near Ali Mohammad Mohalla.
At gunpoint, they were taken into the narrow lanes of the densely-populated locality where they were tortured, said area residents and relatives of the victims.
In the afternoon the kidnappers brought both the youngsters to a place near Joona Masjid, situated within the remit of the Kalri police station, the witnesses said.
The witnesses explained that one of the armed men fired at a youngster (Ali Mohammad) with a pistol, leaving him dead on the spot. But before he could open fire on the other, the pistol dropped from his hand, they said. Taking advantage of the situation, they said, the other young man fled. They added the gunmen did not chase him and fled.
Imran, meanwhile, managed to run to safety and finally narrated his ordeal to his friends and family.
As soon as the news of the killing spread, tension mounted in the area and adjoining localities. District-South SSP Naeem Shaikh, however, expressed ignorance about the execution of the young man in public. He told Dawn that the victim was found shot dead in the area.
Following the incident, people belonging to the Kutchhi community converged on Mauripur Road to stage a protest demonstration. They blocked the road by burning tyres.
Simultaneously, some groups of youths brandishing weapons roamed the streets of Bihar Colony, Agra Taj Colony, Shah Abdul Latif Road, Haji Bachal Road and Hingora Road. They forced shopkeepers by firing into the air to pull down shutters.
While the police deployed on Mauripur Road were still trying to persuade the protesters not to proceed towards the Bilawal House, a rocket landed in front of the house of Karim Shah, a central figure of the KRC, on Gul Mohammad Bhoja Road.
Though no casualty was reported, the attack infuriated people belonging to the community even more. Heavy firing was reported in different parts of the old city area.
In what police described as a related incident, former union council nazim Umar Kutchhi was shot dead at his shop in Baldia Town No 2.
The body was later shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medico-legal formalities.
A KRC spokesman claimed that Umar Kutchhi was its active member.
Although Lyari falls under the jurisdiction of SP-City Nasir Aftab, CID SP Aslam Khan was also present on Mauripur Road trying to pacify the agitating leaders of the Kutchhi community.
Sources said that the CID SP had been given ‘an unofficial task of dealing with the rival factions’ entrenched in Lyari.