KARACHI: Three lawyers died and one was critically injured in a firing incident near the City Court in the Pakistan Chowk area of Karachi, reported Express News on Wednesday.
SSP Naeem Sheikh said that four suspects on two motorcycles opened fired at the lawyers' car. He added that the incident was apparently one of sectarian violence as the lawyers belonged to the Shia sect. However, the police said that it can only be confirmed after the investigations whether the incident was sectarian in nature or not.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sharmila Farooqi said the sectarian aspect of the killing cannot be ignored however declaring it target killing this early would be incorrect.
Express News reported that the victims, Badar Munir Jafri, Shakeel Jafri and Kafeel Jafri, were heading back to their homes from the court when their car was attacked by the killers.
SP Clifton said that the motorcyclists blocked the car and fired at it from the front. At least 15 holes were found in the car apparently of 9mm gunshots.
The incident left all the four victims injured, out of which three died on their way to the hospital. They all belonged to the same family.
The injured lawyer, Babar Ali is being treated at the Civil Hospital and is out of danger according to the doctors. Police is likely to record his statements tonight or tomorrow morning.
The police cordoned off the area and is carrying an investigation into the matter.
Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam took notice of the killings and asked IG Sindh Syed Mushtaq Shah and the lawyers’ representatives to appear in the court tomorrow.
While on the other hand, IG Sindh has constituted two teams to investigate the matter, which would be headed by SSP Sheikh. The teams would comprise of SSP Tariq Dharejo, SSP Niaz Ahmed Khosa and SSP Shahjahan Khan.
Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan also responded to the incident and suspended station house officer (SHO) Arambagh.
Wassan, while speaking to Express News expressed solidarity with the lawyers’ community and asked them to stay calm.
Karachi Bar Association has given a strike call for Thursday, whereas Pakistan Bar Council has announced a countrywide protest.
Altaf Hussain expresses sorrow
Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief (MQM) Altaf Hussain expressed grief and sorrow over the killing, calling it a planned activity.
In a statement released from London, Hussain said that some elements were trying to disturb the peace of the city.
The MQM chief also requested religious leaders and general public to be patient.
At least six people have been killed in 24 hours in separate incidents of target killings. One Ahle Sunnat wal Jammat's legal adviser and a party activist were shot dead in the Old City area on Tuesday.
Correction: In an earlier version of this article, SSP Naeem Sheikh was erroneously referred to as SSP Tariq Dharejo. The correction has been made.