As hundreds thronged the Sir Syed ground in North Karachi to offer funeral prayers for the three activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), police claimed to have detained about one dozen suspects, allegedly belonging to Lyari gangs, in the killings.
Tension and fear gripped parts of the city, especially North Karachi and its surrounding areas after the funeral of the three MQM workers, Syed Hassan Raza, Atif Usmani and Mohammad Ejtabah, who were found dead on Monday night in Mirza Adam Khan Road in Lyari. While the localities echoed with gunshots, routine and commercial activities were suspended and Rangers as well as police were deployed to prevent violence.
The victims were childhood friends. Hassan was an employee of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Atif was a factory worker and Ejtabah used to work at a private bank. Police have registered an FIR on the complaint of Hassan’s brother, Javed Hussain, against ten unidentified persons. The police added that the car in which victims’ bodies were found had been snatched from Ferozabad on May 23.
Separately, the funeral prayer of the Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Amini, a prayer leader of Jama Masjid Noor-e-Iman Imambargah, was offered at the Imambargah in Rizvia. The victim was later laid to rest in Wadi-e-Hussain graveyard on Super Highway. He was gunned down on Monday night in Nazimabad while standing outside the Imambargah. Tension prevailed in Nazimabad, Rizvia, Liaquatabad, Shara-e-Pakistan and Shia dominated areas where trading activities were suspended. The participants of the funeral procession pelted passing vehicles with stones and also set at least three motorcycles on fire in Karimabad and Ayesha Manzil areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012.