The number of lives claimed by 17-year-old feud between two families in Muridke has risen to 25 after the death of six persons in an overnight attack. The Kasab and Butt groups clashed for the first time in 2004.
Three members of the Kasab group were killed by members of the Butt group in Lahore over after an exchange of harsh words over a cable issue. Three years later, the Kasab group got an opportunity to avenge the casualties, killing eight members of the Butt group.
The enmity continue to intensify over time, although dignitaries of the area and the police repeatedly tried to persuade the rival groups to settle the matter. In 2017, the Kasab group killed five members of the Butt group, including children. Only two members of the Butt family survived the attack. In the latest incident, five people, including Baba Reyasat, the head of the Kasab group, were killed.
Among the victims was a young man named Waqas, whose marriage was scheduled five days later. Waqas’s mother reportedly suffered a mental shock when she heard of his murder and is now under treatment in a hospital. According to local people, members of the Butt group opened indiscriminate fire on the houses of the Kasab family with whom they had a longrunning feud.
As a result, the head of Kasab family, Baba Reyasat, his two brothers Abdul Rehman and Abdul Rauf, and nephews Amir and Mirajuddin were killed on the spot. Another person was severely injured in the attack. The assailants fled the scene after the attack, while the injured person and the bodies were shifted to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Muridke.
According to the police, the feud broke out between Ejaz, alias Jujji Butt, a resident of the Hudoki locality, and Baba Reyasat Kasab’s group 17 years ago after an altercation over a minor issue. At least 25 people of both groups have been killed in attacks resulting from the feud. Police have also demolished the house of the Butt group involved in the enmity. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar sought a report about the incident from the regional police officer (RPO) Sheikhupura.
The RPO has formed a team headed by district police officer (DPO) Mubashir Mekan and raids are being carried out to arrest the suspected killers. The DPO expressed confidence that the attackers would be arrested soon and punished in accordance with the law. The bodies of the five members of the same family were handed over to heirs after postmortem. All the major business centres in the area remained shut amid mourning and fear after the murders.
The police have registered a case against five nominated and five unidentified suspects on the complaint of Amanat, a relative of the deceased. The suspects nominated in the FIR include Khawar Humayun, Azam Nadeem and Muneeb. The police were not able to arrest any of the suspects till Saturday evening.
Amid fear and panic in Hudoki area of Muridke after the attack, heavy contingents of police were deployed in the area. The funeral prayers for the victims were offered early in the morning.
Thousands of local people attended the funeral. The DPO Sheikhupura has formed a team under the supervision of the SP investigation to probe into the murder case. The police are reportedly using modern technology to trace the location of the suspects.
According to reports, a few days ago some people of the area had made another attempt to reconciled the matter between the two families. The police said they were keeping every possible aspect in view during the investigation