In the aftermath of a clash between two religious sects on Friday, the Khairpur police directed both sects on Saturday to surrender their arms within 24 hours to avoid raids.
Cases against 279 people from both the groups were registered by the police and 26 have already been arrested. According to the police, FIRs have been registered against 84 individuals from each sect at the “A” section Khairpur police station while the remaining 195 nominees are unidentified.
The tension between the two religious sects started with a dispute over the use of a loudspeaker from the Umer Farooq Mosque in Chandio Morr. After an argument, armed men from one sect reportedly attacked the mosque and opened fire which resulted in burning of shops and injuries to more than 10 people.
Rangers were called to assist the police in maintaining law and order. The law enforcement officials patrolled most areas, including Naya Goth, Panj Gulla Chowk, Mir Ali Bazaar, Achi Khohi, Mohalla Ali Murad, Phool Bagh, Shahi Bazaar and other areas. The residents were told to stay indoors.
The Khairpur deputy commissioner, Ghulam Abbas Baloch, told The Express Tribune that the situation has been taken under control and Section 144 has been imposed in the city. Baloch said that the police conducted raids in different areas and more than 60 suspects have been arrested.
Meanwhile, the Khairpur SSP Irfan Baloch urged both sects to surrender their arms, irrespective if the weapons were licensed, at the nearby police station within 24 hours. The police warned that if people fail to deposit their arms within the deadline, an extensive search operation would be conducted and action will be taken against all those in possession of weapons.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.