BAHALWALPUR: Unidentified men fired on Allama Saqlain Naqvi in Alipur, in district Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur late on Sunday night, critically injuring the Shia scholar. Naqvi was shifted to Victoria hospital Bahawalpur where he is being treated.
According to eye witnesses, Naqvi was going to Jamia Darul Huda Muhammadia, a seminary which he heads, from his residence at about 10 pm when armed men attacked him. They fired three bullets in to his chest.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, police officials said that criminals had been monitoring Naqvi’s activities. They were thus able to track and attack him as he passed through an isolated stretch of the road.
The scholar had been initially shifted to THQ Alipur, where doctors immediately referred him to DHQ Bahawalpur where his condition was described as extremely critical.
Dr Aziz, Director emergency Victoria hospital in Bahawalpur, told The Express Tribune that he had been operated last night but chances of his survival were slim given that his spinal cord had been completely crushed due to the bullet injuries. He is currently in a coma, doctors said.
Naqvi had recently condemned the arrests of Shia’s of Alipur.
Several members of the local Shia community had been arrested after they clashed with supporters of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq.
Naqvi had of late demanded the government immediately release those arrested.
Shia clerics of southern Punjab have condemned the attack. While expressing their displeasure, none of them were willing to give any statements on the record. When pressed, they told The Express Tribune that if they were afraid to reveal their identities, they may share Naqvi’s fate. However, some members of the Shia community took to the streets with their protests, burning tyres and blocking roads.
An FIR on the attack has been lodged in city police station Alipur .
About 10 cases have been reported on attacks on Shia community in last one year in district Muzafarhgarh.