Third victim of attack on Mufti Taqi Usmani laid to rest

Maulana Shahab was injured in the March 19 attack and succumbed to his injuries during treatment


News Desk April 04, 2019
Security personnel and onlookers gather around the car of leading religious scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani after an attack by unidentified gunmen in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

Maulana Amir Shahab, who had sustained severe bullet wounds in the attack on Mufti Taqi Usmani near Nipa Chorangi in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, succumbed to his injuries during the course of treatment on Wednesday night. He was laid to rest in the compound of Jamia Darul Uloom Korangi on Thursday.

The funeral prayers of Maulana Shahab were led by Mufti Rafi Usmani, who is the president of Jamia Darul Uloom, Korangi. The funeral was attended by the family of the martyred, a large number of religious scholars and students of Darul Uloom.

Maulana Amir Shahab had married around one and a half years ago and leaves behind a son and his wife. He had been employed at Jamia Darul Uloom as a driver for the last couple of years.

According to relatives present at the hospital, Maulana Shahab originally hailed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but had been living in Awami Colony, Karachi, for the past several years.

Progress in investigations

Shahab was injured in the March 19 assassination attempt on renowned religious scholar and former Federal Shariat Court judge Mufti Taqi Usmani. Unidentified men opened fire on his entourage while he was headed to the mosque with his wife and grandchildren, to deliver a Friday sermon.

During the assault, Maulana Shahab sustained bullet wounds in the head and upper torso. He was undergoing treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where he breathed his last on Wednesday night.

With the death of Maulana Shahab, the number of persons killed in the incident has risen to three. The other two victims included police constable Farooq, who was the official security guard deputed with Mufti Taqi Usmani and private security guard Sanober Khan. Both were killed on the spot.

Despite the passage of two weeks, police have yet to make any breakthrough in the investigation. Several persons were taken into custody in the days following the attack but they were let go shortly after. On March 23, Sindh Police IG Dr Kaleem Imam had claimed that the police had several leads, but no tangible results have been obtained thus far. "We know who was involved in the attack. The culprits will be arrested soon," he had told the media during a visit to the Quaid's mausoleum.

Religious leader narrowly escapes brazen gun attack

The incident

Mufti Taqi Usmani escaped an attempt on his life on March 19. According to police, Usmani's car was targeted on a flyover at Karachi's Nipa Chowrangi, a few kilometers away from his destination, the Baitul Mukarram mosque, located in  Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Police said that four terrorists riding two motorcycles started firing at Usmani's car from both sides when it was about to turn left towards a side ramp leading to Nipa Chowrangi.

The car driven by Maulana Shahab was attacked first. The security guard, Sanober Khan, who was also sitting in the car was severely injured. The terrorists later attacked the car in which Mufti Taqi Usmani was travelling, killing police guard Farooq.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2019.

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