Continuing violence claims policeman’s life in Nawabshah
NAWABSHAH: Violence and protest rallies continued in Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah) district on Tuesday following arson attacks and clashes between protesters and police during a shutterdown observed on Monday on a call for protest given by nationalist parties against the new local government law for Sindh.
A policeman was killed and several others were wounded in the fresh clashes between police and protesters.
The daylong violence took place on Sakrand Road — the scene of similar clashes a day earlier — leaving two policemen, Gada Hussain Zardari and Khadim Hussain Arain, as well as five activists of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), wounded.
All the victims were rushed to the People’s Medical College Hospital, where Gada Hussain Zardari succumbed to his wounds.
DSP City Khalid Hussain Taggar confirmed the policeman’s death.
Reinforcement, including five armoured personnel carriers, was sent to the troubled areas from some other districts. More than 20 people were arrested.
Our Nawabshah correspondent adds: A Jeay Sindh Tehrik (JST) leader Fida Hussain Vistro, his brother, Sajjad Vistro and their party colleagues, Dost Ali Jamali, Fayyaz Bhatti and Mumtaz Bughio were among those wounded during the fresh violence.
A complete shutterdown was observed throughout the district on Tuesday in response to a call given by JSQM against the killing of its activist, Ali Raza Khaskehli, allegedly by police, on Monday. He fell to a bullet during an exchange of fire between police and protesters on Sakrand Road when a large number of protesters staged a sit-in and took out a rally against the new local government law. A mob, later, torched the Airport police station and two motorbikes parked outside reducing them to ashes.
On Tuesday, Khaskheli was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Sakrand. JSQM chairman Sannan Qureshi, Sagar Hanif Burdi, Dr Niaz Kalani, Sarfaraz Memon and a large number of activists and supporters of nationalist parties as well as JUI and PML-F attended his funeral.
All markets, bazaars and commercial centres including Sarafa Bazaar, Mohni Bazaar, Liaquat Market, Sakrand Road, Hospital Road, Masjid Road, Kutchehry Road, Jam Sahab Road and Qazi Ahmed Road, across the district remained closed for a second consecutive day.
Sindh Bachayo Committee, which had given the call for the Monday shutterdown, took out a rally again on Tuesday but the police stopped the marchers at Doctors Colony. Participants in the rally forced their way ahead and police lobbed teargas shells to disperse them.
However, when the protesters went ahead with their march the police used live ammunition. The police said that some of the protesters also used firearms after attacking police with stones.
They said several police and Rangers vehicles were hit by bullets. Enraged protesters also burnt two cars, billboards of PPP and its allied parties and some motorcycles parked outside the burnt police station. Hundreds of landlines went out of order in Azeem Colony, Sakrand Road and other localities when a PTCL cabinet was also set on fire.
Gharibabad, Regal Chowk, Azeem Colony and several other areas continued to reverberate with gunfire till late Tuesday.
Sakrand Road, which leads to Karachi, remained closed to traffic since Monday morning.
JSQM chairman Sannan Qureshi visited the PMC Hospital to inquire after the health of wounded protesters.
He told the media that the police used force against peaceful protesters killing and wounding many people and triggering angry reaction.
He announced that his party would continue with its peaceful protest across the province on Wednesday. He said that like-minded political parties would also continue their movement against the local government law until it was repealed.