KARACHI: Seven more people were killed in Lyari on Thursday, despite the presence of more than 50 police and Rangers vans as well as 18 armoured personnel vehicles after clashes left eight people dead a day earlier.
The total death toll in clashes, which erupted on Wednesday between Ghaffar Zikkri and Baba Ladla groups, has now risen to 15.
Residents were confined to their homes and businesses were closed as firing continued in Eidu Lane, Ahmed Shah Bukhari Road, Kamila Stop, Maulvi road, Chakiwara, Kalakot and Baghdadi for the second day running.
The Kalakot police found the body of Aqeel, a close associate of gang leader Ghaffar Zikri. Aqeel had been kidnapped and shot dead two days ago, after which his body was dumped in Art Chowk, Lyari, police officials revealed. Aqeel was a resident of Ali Muhammad Mohalla.
Twelve-year-old Nasir was shot dead in Niazi Chowk during clashes between the two gangs. His body was taken to Civil Hospital Karachi, while 18-year-old Nadir was shot dead at Baghdadi.
Clashes between the Baba Ladla group and the Ghaffar Zikri group started four days ago when the body of Allah Buksh, associated with the latter group, was found in Eidu Lane.
This was followed by an armed attack by one group at the other’s office.
A rocket was also allegedly fired but did not result in any casualties, sources unwilling to be named revealed, adding that despite registering cases against Ghaffar Zikri, Sheraz Zikri, Faiz Mohammad and Shahid on Nadeem’s and Ali Baloch’s complaints, the Baghdadi police have yet to arrest any of the accused men.
Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Ali Mirza directed CCPO Waseem Ahmed to provide maximum security to the people of Lyari, adding that the registers at police stations should be reviewed, so as to “deploy trained police commandoes at high crime areas”.
Action must be taken against any policemen found guilty of negligence in conducting inquiries into the Lyari gang war, said Mirza.
The police must coordinate with the Rangers while taking any action against the criminals, he said, adding that the intelligence network should also be employed to crack down on criminals.
The ban on the display of weapons must be implemented while the list of absconding and proclaimed offenders must be regularly updated and action must be taken against them, he directed the police, adding that they must treat the “law-abiding citizens” with respect.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 4th, 2010.