With nine people killed and another two injured in the city over the last 24 hours, target killings have taken their toll on Karachi yet again.
One of the victims has been identified as Muhammad Shoaib, a former councillor of Gudaab Town UC-One. He was shot dead in the Malir area of Karachi.
Meanwhile, two other people were gunned down on Tipu Sultan Road in Ferozabad.
Sources said six more people were killed in Orangi town, Lyari New Lane, Pak Colony, Malir, Saudabad and Bhains Colony.
4 more funerals, faceless killers
Four more men were targeted in shootings in Karachi Saturday, bringing the toll to 300 this year.
One man was shot dead allegedly by workers of a religious party outside his shop near Ikhlaq Chowk in Macchar Colony. Twenty-eight-year-old Abdul Aziz had refused to shut his shop for the strike called to protest the suicide attack in Lahore a day earlier. His response was met with anger from armed men who opened fire on him and beat his brothers Abdul Razzak and Umar Hamza with the butts of their guns.
“We were sitting outside the shop while Aziz was dealing with customers when these goons arrived and asked him to close it down,” said Razzak, who added that the men had opened fire at Aziz after a heated exchange of words. As a message to the rest of the market, the men fired in the air before taking off.
The police reached the scene. “We suspect the involvement of Sunni Tehreek activists in the incident,” said SHO Sohail Akhtar, adding that activists had warned shopkeepers and traders to remain at home earlier on.
A rival outfit, the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, has claimed, however, that Aziz was not killed because he refused to back the strike, but because he was a member of their group. Jamaat spokesperson Ihsanullah Farooqui accused workers of the Sunni Tehreek and claimed that even Aziz’s brother was a ASWJ man.
“How is it possible that traders are being threatened and attacked in the presence of the law-enforcement agencies,” he asked, angrily adding that the police had failed to provide security to the residents of the city.
Three men – Nooru, Sharif and Samait – were nominated in the FIR for Aziz’s murder.
PPP activist killed
Shoaib Baluch, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activist, was also shot dead by unidentified armed men in front of BBC Hotel on Bakra Piri road Saturday.
“We will soon arrest the culprits,” said Malir City DSP Imdad Solangi, who was of the belief that Baluch was killed by some residents of the area.
When the news of the killing spread, enraged PPP supporters blocked roads in Malir in protest, after which, the paramilitary Rangers and police officials were dispatched to calm them down and prevent the violence from spreading.
Baluch was a resident of the Mullah Essa Goth. He was also a former councillor of the area.
Builder and driver shot dead
Thirty-five year old Ramesh Kumar and his driver Saiful Farooque were shot dead by four armed men on two motorcycles who stopped Kumar’s car at the Tipu Sultan signal, Shaheed-e-Millat Road near Najam mosque.
The bodies were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where doctors said that Kumar had been shot six times while his driver once.
The Ferozabad police investigations revealed that Kumar was a builder by profession. He has four children and hailed from Nawabshah. His driver Farooque was from Sargodha.
Body of alleged criminal found
The body of 27-year-old Gul Sher was found in Sahibdad Goth within the jurisdiction of Saudabad police station. Police said that Sher was a criminal and had “close contacts” with gangsters.
Target killings in 2010
Target killings have claimed more than 300 lives in different parts of the city so far this year. In June alone, 10 activists of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba and four Shia doctors, along with two owners of printing presses and three others lost their lives, according to Central Police Office records.
Five Mohajir Qaumi Movement activists and one worker of the Awami National Party were gunned down within the previous month.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010.