“Well, they’re all at it, killing each other,” remarked Gulshan-e-Iqbal SHO Kanson Dean, adding that it was tit-for-tat violence. “We’re doing what we can.”
The victims included three Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists, one of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi and a police head constable. In several cases, men gathered on the streets after the gunfire and protested. At least three vehicles were set on fire and other roads were dotted by heaps of burning car tyres. Panicked residents trying to get around got stuck in traffic jams. Two MQM offices — on Burns Road and in Soldier Bazaar — were targeted with hand grenades. However, there was no loss of life as one office was closed and experts defused the second one. SHO Irfan Kobra said two men on a motorcycle lobbed one grenade at the Soldier Bazaar unit office No. 50 early Sunday.
Amid all of this, Sindh Inspector-General of Police Fayyaz Leghari’s cell phone was switched off while newly appointed chief of police Saud Mirza kept disconnecting his phone calls. No official spokesperson came forward to comment on the violence.
“Every day blood is being spilt,” said Saddar SP Irshad Ali Raza Sehar. “It’s not like these people are from another country [that they can’t get along]. We’re all the same.”
An MQM activist was shot dead and another was injured when armed men on a motorcycle attacked the party’s unit No. 167 office in indiscriminate firing in Khamosh Colony.
As a result, 46-year-old Ghulam Hussain, and Shafi, 40, were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where Hussain died. The Gulbahar police said that he lived in the same area and had two children.
Gulbahar, Nazimabad, Paposh Nagar, Khamosh Colony grew tense after the killing. People set a bus on fire near Rizvia Chowrangi despite the presence of the police.
MQM worker Kamran Khatri was gunned down in Moosa Lane, Lyari. Baghdadi police said that the Daryabad resident was kidnapped, tortured and killed. He was an electrician and used to work in Saddar. His body was sent to Civil Hospital, Karachi and his brother Imran registered FIR No. 84/11.
MQM worker Shehzad Hussain, 29, was shot 14 times near the Meteorology department in Mobina Town police precincts. He was sitting outside an auto workshop near Shakeel Garden, where two armed men on a motorcycle attacked him, said SHO Abdul Sattar. The Gulshan-e-Iqbal resident was associated with the MQM’s unit No 33 for Gulshan-e-Maymar.
In Chakiwara limits, 32-year-old MQM-H worker Khushnod Butt was shot at least thrice on Maula Madad Road. He was a resident of Orangi Town and the MQM-H claimed that he was a senior member of that sector.
A police head constable was gunned down near Gulzar-e-Hijri. Mobina Town police said 41-year-old Arshad Ali alias Kundi was sitting outside his home when armed men sprayed him with bullets. He worked with the Gulshan investigation wing and had three children. His brother is posted to the Taimoria police station. There were some unconfirmed reports that the victim was part of a team looking into the killing of private news channel reporter Wali Khan Babar. The killing of party workers aside, Sunday was also violent for the deaths of other men. The body of an abducted young man was found from Maripur road in Kalri police precincts. He was identified as 25-year-old Mohammad Rafiq, a resident of Garden West. He used to work at a private garment factory. Then, 47-year-old Ali Nawaz was killed in a drive-by shooting at Bara Board. Pak Colony police said that no political party has claimed the victim, who was a resident of same area.
Khayal Mohammad Mehsud was shot at least five times in Rasheedabad. Manghopir police said that he was a resident of Pakhtunabad.
Men shot and injured six people near Disco Bakery in Block 4 Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The victims were identified as Aziz and Hamid. Wilayat Shah, Jamal Shah and Saifullah were admitted with critical injuries. Police said they hailed from Quetta. Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party claimed that the men were affiliated with it.
In Kamil Street, two young men were shot dead when at least four men on two motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire at a pan shop. Shop owners 25-year-old Vicky Kumar and Asghar, 28, were injured and succumbed at Civil hospital. Kharadar police said that Kumar was a resident of the same area and Asghar was from Moosa Lane, Lyari.
An unidentified man was killed and another, Danish, was injured allegedly when the law enforcers tried to control a protest at Teen Hatti. People claimed that the Rangers jawans opened fire at the protesters. Police sources said that the jawans had fired in the air to scare away men who were forcing shopkeepers to shut down. “The incident occurred in the crossfire,” said police sources. Rangers officials refuted the allegations.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2011.