‘Sectarian’ attacks claim two more lives in Karachi
KARACHI, Jan 16: Two men were gunned down in the city apparently on sectarian grounds on Wednesday, police said.
Only a day ago, a founding member of an annual Muharram procession was shot dead in a ‘sectarian’ attack in Surjani Town.
They added that 55-year-old Ibne Hasan was targeted while he was walking towards his car parked near his home in Muhammadi Dera in Malir as a matter of routine to go to his office.
He worked in a tyre manufacturing company.
“Two men riding a motorbike emerged and one of them fired multiple shots at Mr Hasan,” said Fakharul Islam, the area’s deputy superintendent of police (DSP).
“He was hit by a single bullet in the neck that proved fatal. The attackers sped away after the firing. The police have found four spent casings of 9mm bullets at the crime-scene.”
Tension gripped the area after the gun attack. Charged youths took to the streets and staged a protest demonstration at the Malir 15 traffic intersection, suspending traffic on the National Highway.
Normality returned to the area more than an hour after the killing when police convinced the protesters to disperse peacefully.
Commercial activities in parts of Malir Town, however, remained suspended and daily life came to a complete halt. Socially active, the victim had been living in the locality for more than three decades. He was also a former secretary of the Masjid-o-Imambargah
The police saw no motive other than sectarian for the fresh killing.
They said the attackers were well aware of Mr Hasan’s routine and met their target without facing any resistance.
“The police investigators are collecting facts to ascertain the exact motive though it seems a sectarian killing,” said DSP Fakhar-ul-Islam.
“The body has been handed over to the family after medico-legal formalities at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.”
Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen condemned the killing and questioned the effectiveness of the law-enforcement agencies in the area. “This is sheer brutality,” said a spokesman for Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen. “We strongly condemn the killing and continued violence against the particular [Shia] community. The government and the security administration must move immediately to keep sectarian harmony intact.”
In the evening, a young rickshaw driver was shot dead in Soldier Bazaar in another attack apparently on sectarian grounds, police said.
They said that assailants riding on a motorbike attacked 35-year-old Maqbool Hussain just after he dropped some passengers near Albela Jamaat Khana in his rickshaw.
“He was hit by two bullets in the head and right hand,” said an official at the Soldier Bazaar police station. “The victim was a resident of the Gulabahr area near Kashmir Imambargah and quite active in the affairs of the Imambargah. He was apparently targeted for sectarian reasons.”
A ‘former’ husband of a woman was booked for killing her in Buffer Zone, police said.
The officials added that Mahwish along with her three children and two brothers had rented a house in Sector 16-A after her divorce that recently turned out to be ineffective for not meeting some legal and religious requirements.
Her husband, Faheem, started visiting her two weeks ago at her rented house, the police said.
“When the landlord who lives on the first floor of the house asked her about the frequent visitor, she told him that he was her former husband,” said Taimuria SHO Inspector Ejaz Lodhi.
“He questioned his frequent visits knowing that the woman had been divorced more than a month ago. However, the two convinced the landlord that they had consulted a lawyer and a cleric, who suggested that they could live together as the formalities for the divorce were not met.”
The police said they also apprised him about their plan to move out in the first week of February.
“On Tuesday night, Faheem came to her place and stayed. The next morning when her brothers left for their workplace and her two children for their school, Faheem slit her throat with a sharp metal and escaped,” said the inspector.
An FIR (17/2013) was registered against the victim’s husband under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of one of her brothers, Amir.