SUKKUR: A Hindu teenager was killed and another seriously wounded when armed men opened fire on them in Mirpur Mathelo late Tuesday night.
Locals said that the fatal attack was part of a backlash against an alleged act of blasphemy committed by a Hindu man in nearby Daharki on Tuesday. Police, however, claimed the motive behind the attack was personal enmity.
According to reports, Satesh Kumar, 18, and his friend Avinash, 17, were sitting outside a restaurant near Iqbal Petrol Pump in Mirpur Mathelo Tuesday night when two gunmen, riding a motorcycle, approached them and opened fire. The assailants fled unchallenged.
The attack left the pair seriously injured. They were driven to the Civil Hospital where Kumar succumbed to his injuries. Avinash was referred to a hospital in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab for treatment of his critical wounds.
SSP Ghotki Masood Bangash claimed the attack was triggered by personal enmity and was not linked to the blasphemy incident.
The teenagers were attacked around an hour after members from Hindu and Muslim communities met to discuss a blasphemy incident that took place earlier in the day and decided to maintain law and order in the area.
Ghotki bears deserted look
A day after a Hindu man was arrested in Daharki on charges of blasphemy, all markets in the district remained closed while the streets bore a deserted look with heavy contingents of law enforcers deployed.
While most of the markets belonging to the Hindu community remained closed, there were reports that some of the shops owned by Muslims were open.
SSP Bangash told The Express Tribune that the situation was under control and that no untoward incident has taken place save the attack on the two Hindu teenagers.
Meanwhile, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, took notice of the attack in Mirpur Mathelo and has asked the Sindh government to take immediate action against the culprits.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Bilawal also instructed PPP MNA Ramesh Lal to visit Kumar’s family in a move of solidarity. Bilawal said anti-social elements who were fanning hatred and violence should be reined in and punished as he stressed that no one should be allowed to take the law into their own hands.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2016.