KARACHI: Political workers were hauled in for questioning on Wednesday but no arrests, let alone an FIR was registered for the 11 people who were shot dead when a rally was attacked at Napier Road a day earlier.
Over 30 people, mostly political workers, were detained by the police and Rangers, who were also deployed in the Sindhi-dominated areas of the old city and Lyari.
Despite this, firing was reported in these areas on Wednesday. Azizur Rehman, a gatekeeper at a warehouse, was killed in Shah Latif, and over half a dozen people were wounded in Lyari, Orangi, the old city areas and Sachal.
A Pakistan Steel Mills bus was attacked in the Malir City area and driver Imran Khalid was wounded. A bus was set on fire near Lea Market.
The Rangers and police raided neighbourhoods. Sources in the Rangers paramilitary force said that they went to Ramswamy, Ranchore Line, Napier Road, Musharraf Colony, Bohrapir, Garden and Lines Area. Officials found a cache of weapons, including two anti-aircraft guns, 22 Kalashnikovs, 11 repeater guns and around 8,000 bullets. Detainees had not been handed over to the police till the filing of this report as they are still being questioned. The families of the detainees protested outside the Rangers Headquarters near Pakistan Chowk and demanded they be released. In response, Rangers personnel baton-charged protestors and stopped media personnel from covering the event.
The police claim to have detained over half a dozen suspects from Napier Road and its surrounding areas.
A joint investigation team led by Additional IG Karachi Akhtar Gorchani has been formed on the directives of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The team comprises representatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency and the Special Branch. However, no case has been registered about the attack on the rally or the killings in the aftermath. Police said they had finished the process for registering the cases but have been told by senior officials to put it on hold until they further orders.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.