Karachi: 3 more PPP men among seven killed
KARACHI: Another seven people, including three activists of the Pakistan People’s Party and a policeman, were gunned down in different parts of the city on Saturday. The deaths brought to 21 the number of people who have fallen prey to target killings in the past three days. Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Abdul Rasheed Khan said gunmen attacked senior PPP leader Shahid Arain and three other party activists at the Quetta Hotel situated near Saifee College in North Nazimabad late on Saturday night. All the four were wounded in the attack.
On receiving information, police rushed to the scene and took the injured to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), where Arain died. Khan added that the police spoke to eyewitnesses, who said the four would come to the tea hotel every night.
“They were sitting at the hotel, as per routine, when two armed men stopped their motorcycle near them, opened fire on the customers and fled,” said an eyewitness. SDPO Khan said that 50–year–old Arain was the general secretary of the PPP’s District Central ward and also former member of party’s Zakat Committee. He had suffered a single bullet to his head.
After the shooting, the law and order situation deteriorated in the area, when gunmen began aerial firing and forced traders to close their businesses. Investigators termed Arain’s murder a target killing. They said that police had found six empty shells of a 9mm pistol from scene, and sent them to the Sindh Police Lab for forensic testing.
PPP leaders Waqar Mehdi and Rashid Rabbani condemned the attack on the party’s activists, saying that it was a conspiracy to disturb peace in the city. In yet another late-night incident, Police Constable (PC) Rizwan was shot dead, while PC Imran and PC Riaz were injured during an attack by terrorists in the Sohrab Goth area.
Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) District Malir Rao Anwar said the three constables were on a routine patrol when terrorists, including militants belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Sher Zaman Mehsud and Zubair Mehsud, opened fire at them with Kalashnikovs near the Maalik Hotel, Al-Asif Square. The terrorists fled after the assault, leaving the three policemen in a pool of blood.
The injured were immediately moved to hospital, where PC Rizwan succumbed to his injuries. SSP Anwar said that Sher Zaman Mehsud is also wanted by the police in a number of terrorism cases, including the attack on his (Anwar’s) convoy in Malir Halt just two days ago. Anwar believes that Mehsud had made masterminded that attack because he feared arrest.
The SSP added that after receiving confirmation that Mehsud was present in the Sohrab Goth area, he called all of his force, cordoned off the area and directed the officials deployed at the entry and exit points to keep a watch on anyone moving in or out of the area.
PC Rizwan was posted at the Sohrab Goth police station and resided in the Sachal area. Imran is also posted at the Sohrab Goth police station while Riaz is from the Police Qaumi Razaqar (PQR) and posted at the same police station.
Earlier, the body of Imran Baloch was found near the Old DC Office, Buffer Zone, in the Taimuria police limits. The corpse was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for legal formalities. He was a resident of Sultanabad, Manghopir.
Police said that Imran Baloch had left his house for Illyas Goth on Friday night when he was kidnapped and later tortured to death. The unidentified criminals fired three bullets into his head that caused his instant death.
The deceased was an activist of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and the police termed his murder a target killing.
Another PPP worker, identified as Abdul Razzaq Baloch, was fired upon and critically injured in the Gharibabad area in the Sharifabad police limits late on Friday night. He was carried to hospital where he expired during treatment.
He had remained unidentified till Friday night but on Saturday morning PIB Colony police received a complaint from his family, who reported he had been missing since Friday afternoon. The family identified the deceased at the Edhi mortuary in Sohrab Goth.
Razzaq was kidnapped and later abandoned in a critical condition in the area by unknown criminals. He had been shot thrice in the chest. Police termed Razzaq’s murder a target killing.
A rickshaw driver, Khurram Shahzad, was shot dead near the Babar Market in the Landhi police remit. According to Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Abdul Majeed of Landhi Division, Shahzad had left his house in Korangi No–5 to visit his in-laws in Landhi, when unidentified criminals kidnapped him and shot him dead before torturing him. He suffered four bullet wounds.
Police apprehended that Khurram’s murder could be part of the ongoing wave of target killings as he was also a supporter of a political party. Barkat Khan, 22, was shot dead in Baldia No 4-½ on Saturday morning. Following the receipt of information at about 4:30am, police reached the scene and shifted the body to hospital for legal formalities.
According to SHO Aslam Jadoon, Khan was a resident of the same area. His family hailed from Afghanistan. Barkat had left his house as per routine at around 4am to collect garbage and when he reached near the area bus stand, some unidentified men shot him dead. He received single bullet to his head that caused his instant death.
Police were investigating the case from two angles—whether it was a target killing incident or he was murdered over some enmity. Zar Gul (38) was seriously injured after he was fired upon at Hazara Chowk in the Peerabad police limits.
Police took him to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he died during treatment. SHO Waqar said that Gul had left his house in Khyber Pakhtoon Hazara Colony for work, and when he was passing through the area, some unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle sprayed him with bullets.
He suffered two bullet wounds to his body. Police seized empty casings of a 9mm pistol from the spot. Zar Gul also hailed from Afghanistan. The police were investigating the matter to ascertain the motive behind his murder.