Gun, arson attacks: Five killed during strike observed in parts of city
KARACHI, May 23: At least five people, including a political party worker, were killed and about half a dozen others wounded during a partial strike observed in the city on Wednesday on a call given by the Awami Tehrik to protest against the Tuesday afternoon bloodshed in the old city area.
A private school, a couple of buses and commercial areas were targeted in gun and arson attacks as many parts of the city reverberated with gunfire, causing fear and tension among traders, transporters and residents.
The strike call was given by AT chief Ayaz Latif Palijo, flanked by Marvi Memon of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), during a press conference on Tuesday evening following the gun attacks on the ‘Sindh Love’ rally that claimed many lives and left several others wounded.
While the wholesale markets, timber market and other commercial centres mainly in south district and parts of east and west districts remained shut on Wednesday, shopping malls and markets in central, north and parts of east districts did usual business.
In Malir, a woman teacher was wounded at a private school near Chattai Ground when gunmen opened fire in an attempt to enforce school closure. In the firing, a vendor also sustained gunshot wounds. They were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi had already postponed the annual examination scheduled for Wednesday. Similarly, Karachi University had also announced postponement of its semester exam scheduled for the day.
Following the firing incident at the school in Malir, private schools in the area announced closure and postponed the exams being held there.
Earlier in the morning, a passenger coach (JE-1097) was set on fire in the Lea Market area and a bus of the Pakistan Steel Mills came under a gun attack in Malir City. The bus driver, Imran Khalid, sustained a bullet wound and was shifted to hospital.
Public transport remained off the road in the morning and people faced hardship in travelling to their destinations during the strike.
Consequently, thin attendance was witnessed at government and private offices, educational institutes, courts, hospitals and banks.
About half a dozen people, including a minor girl, were wounded in intermittent firing in Malir, Gulshan-i-Hadeed, Landhi, Korangi, Bin Qasim, Pipri, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Sachal, Safoora Goth, Lyari, Kharadar, Mauripur, Orangi, Nazimabad and North Nazimabad.
An activist of the Awami National Party, Jamil Mandokhail, son of Umer Khan, was gunned down at Perfume Chowk, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, said police and party sources. The victim was rushed to a nearby private hospital for treatment where he died, said an official at the Sharea Faisal police station.
An ANP spokesman said the victim was a party worker and resident of Block S, North Nazimabad.
In the Paper Market area, a resident of Kharadar sustained a gunshot wound to his head, police said. They shifted the victim, identified as Abdul Samad, to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where he died during treatment.
In the early hours of the day, a 45-year-old watchman was gunned down in a Shah Latif Town locality, police said. They added that Azizur Rehman was a resident of Khudabad Colony, Quaidabad. The police said the killing was carried out apparently to enforce a shutdown.
In the Lyari River, police found the beheaded body of a man wearing shalwar kameez, said an official at the Shershah police station.
DSP Raees Ghani said the body was shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi for a post-mortem examination and later taken to the Edhi morgue for want of identification.
A 37-year-old man, Shareef alias Babu, who had recently been released from jail, was shot dead in Korangi No 5½ within the remit of the Zaman Town police station, said DSP Qasim Ghauri.
Over 30 people, most of them political workers, were apprehended during overnight raids conducted by Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, in Ramaswami, Ranchhore Lane, Napier Road, Musharraf Colony, Bohrapir, Garden and Lines Area.
Sources in the Rangers said that a huge cache of weapons, including two anti-aircraft guns, 22 Kalashnikovs, 11 repeaters and around 1,000 bullets, were seized during the ‘targeted operation’.
They said the suspects had not been handed over to the police till Wednesday evening. “The suspects are being questioned,” said the sources.
The families of those picked up in the old city areas and Bohrapir later staged a protest demonstration outside a Rangers office near Pakistan Chowk, seeking the release of their relatives.
The protesters claimed that the Rangers picked up innocent people during the raids.
The Rangers personnel charged the protestors, including women, with batons to disperse the crowd and stopped media persons from the coverage of the action.