Deadly ambush: Local prayer leader gunned down in Haripur

Police rule out attack was targeted killing or sectarian, suspect personal enmity

Our Correspondent October 24, 2016

HARIPUR: Maulana Shoukat Nawaz, a local prayer and religious leader, was gunned down by unidentified people in Makhan Colony of Haripur, police said on Sunday morning.

Around dawn on Sunday, when 38-year-old Nawaz left home to go to the local mosque to lead the Fajr prayers, some unidentified armed assailants ambushed him. The assailants shot at him with their pistols and fled.

Nawaz was killed on the spot.

Chanzeb, Nawaz’s brother, told city police Nawaz was the president of Sunni Tehreek’s Haripur chapter and had been serving as a prayer leader in Masjid Bakhtawar of Mohallah Gajjal for over five years.

Although they had an old family feud in their native village, Chanzeb did not nominate anyone in the FIR for his brother’s murder.

Meanwhile, police officials said they did not immediately know the motive for the murder. However, a police source denied that the case was of target killing or was sectarian, though they suspect that the fatal attack could have been motivated by an old or recent personal enmity with someone.

As news of Nawaz’s death spread, activists of ST led by local leaders Qazi Atiqur Rehman, Raja Shamim Anwar and Qari Abdul Khaliq staged protest against the murder and blocked the GT road near Panian Chowk for half an hour.

They demanded that the culprits should be arrested immediately and threatened to launch a province-wide protest unless the killers are arrested in the next  24 hours.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2016.


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