HYDERABAD: A tribal clash, provoked by an ongoing vendetta, in Shikarpur district on Sunday claimed the lives of six men while 14 were injured.
The police said automatic weapons and rocket launchers were used in the alleged assault, which was launched by the Teghani tribe on Haji Mehran Khan Bijarani village of the Bijarani tribe in Khanpur taluka.
Three persons of each tribe were killed and seven from both sides were injured in the armed fight. However, the police claimed responsibility for shooting dead and injuring the assailants of the Teghani tribe.
Shikarpur SSP Masood Ahmed Bangash told the local media that armed men of the Teghani tribe had initiated the assault in which three men of the Bijarani tribe died. “The police responded to the attack in a timely manner and reached the spot where three men of the Teghanis were killed in an exchange of fire.”
Dil Jan Bijarani alias Janib, 25, and Amir Bux Bijarani, 40, died on the spot, while Yahya Bijarani died in the hospital.
Seven persons of the Bijarani tribe were injured and admitted to the hospital. The bodies were handed over to the Bijarani tribe after postmortem.
The slain persons of the other tribe were identified as Suleman Teghani, Luqman Teghani and Kabil Teghani. Police shifted the bodies of Suleman and Kabil to the hospital, but Luqman’s body was taken away by the tribe as they retreated to the riverbed forest.
An elderly woman, Sikiladhi Teghani, was sent to collect the corpses of Suleman and Kabil which were handed over after a postmortem.
The SSP said that Kabil was a son of notorious dacoit Jhangal Teghani and was wanted in some criminal cases. Suleman and Luqman were brothers and the former carried Rs500,000 head money, while the latter was wanted in criminal cases, he added.
Bangash said the police also shot and injured seven other assailants of the Teghanis, including an infamous dacoit, Bailo Teghani, but all the injured managed to escape the scene.
Sikander Bijarani and other members of his tribe told the media at the hospital that around 30 armed men of the Teghani tribe attacked their village with automatic weapons and rocket launchers.
An FIR was registered on Monday at the Naparkot police station on complaint of Muhammad Saleh Bijarani. As many 39 persons have been nominated, including Bailo Teghani and Yaqoob Tehgani, under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Pakistan Penal Code. However, no significant arrests were made by Monday evening.
According to the police, around 24 people of both sides have been killed so far in attacks and retaliation. “The area has become a no-go area due to tension between the two sides,” a policeman requesting anonymity said. “Even the schools and health centres in the villages are closed.”
Sardar Tegho Khan Teghani, a tribal chief, in a jirga some time ago, reportedly imposed a Rs8 million fine on each tribe and asked them to settle the dispute, which still traumatically lingers. The police have set up pickets in the area in the aftermath of the bloody clash.