A clash between two religious groups left a shopkeeper dead and three pedestrians injured on Tuesday.
The squabble broke out shortly after the funeral prayers for two activists of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.
Old Golimar came to a standstill as two groups opened fire at each other. Traffic in and out of the area was suspended and it took law enforcers two hours to get the situation under control. Later the police called for back-up and managed to catch 21 suspects red-handed and confiscate their weapons.
On the night before the brawl (Monday), two ASWJ activists, Abdul Hafeez and Sajid aka Sajid Mullah, were gunned down in what appeared to be a targeted attack near Petal Wali Gali in Gulbahar police limits. On Tuesday, their funeral prayers were offered near their house close to where they were killed.
The police said that the violence broke out between ASWJ activists and members of another community when the funeral procession was on the way to a graveyard near Khajji Ground.
Rizvia SHO Masroor Ejaz told The Express Tribune that the clash was triggered when the procession reached Kazmia Imambargah. Unidentified suspects opened fire at the imambargah which broke its windows. A shopkeeper named Aqeel was caught in the crossfire and killed while three other passersby – Abbas, Rehman and Jaffer – were wounded. The officer said an investigation is under way.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.