Rival groups: 5 die, 5 injured in crossfire

Disputed land not vacated despite panchayat and court verdicts.

Owais Jafri May 22, 2012


As many as five men were killed and five injured in firing between rival groups in two incidents in the district on Tuesday. 

Four men were killed and one injured on Tuesday after firing started between two groups over a property in Sadiqabad. The injured man was taken to a hospital, where he was later reported to be out of danger. Seven men have been arrested so far, police said.

Police said two groups, the Arain and Soomro clans, had had a dispute over an agricultural land in the Kot Sabzal area. They said the Soomro clan was accused of having grabbed the Arain clan’s land in Chak 41-NP. The latter took the matter to a panchayat, that gave a verdict in its favour, but the Soomro clan refused to let go of the land.

Some members of the Arain clan then moved a court, which also passed a verdict in their favour. When the Soomro clan, police said, remained adamant over their decision, the Arain clan tried to recover the land themselves.

On Tuesday some Arain clan men opened fire at several Soomro clan men, killing Rasheed Ahmed, Muhammad, Ghulam Mustafa and Liaquat Ali on the spot. One Asif was seriously injured and taken to Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan, where doctors treating him said that his condition was critical.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdul Shakoor of the Soomro clan said that the police had called several women of his family for investigation. He said the police were not letting them go now although they had nothing to do with the dispute. Police, however, denied holding any woman in custody.

Station House Officer Abbas Akhtar told The Tribune that an FIR had been registered against several men of the Arain clan. He said the dispute was about six acres of agricultural land that both the groups claimed. He said seven of the men named in the FIR had been arrested. Police were making raids to make more arrests, he said.

Also, on Tuesday, a man was killed and four were injured in firing between two rival groups in Gujranwala. Aimenabad police said that Zaheer Butt and Khizer Butt had an argument over a petty issue after which men from both side opened fire at each other. One of them attacked Tanveer with a dagger and fled. Tanveer and four other injured were taken to Civil Hospital, where Tanveer died a few hours later. The injured were identified as Zaheer Butt, Nawaz Butt, Anjum Shahid and Ali. No arrests have been made so far.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2012.


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