At least six people, including a journalist, were killed and another 10 were injured when gunmen opened fire on a public rally in Sadoro Janwri Village near Khairpur late Sunday night.
The rally was organised by the Khairpur municipal administration in support of the new local government system in Sindh.
Syeda Nafeesa Shah, a lawmaker of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and daughter of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, was scheduled to address the rally.
A large number of people had turned up at the venue and organisers and journalists were waiting for Nafeesa Shah to arrive when four to five gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on them.
As a result, six persons, including a journalist, were killed on the spot, while 10 others – among them three journalists – were wounded. The gunmen managed to flee unchallenged.
The dead were identified as journalist Mushtaq Khand, Zafar Ali, Raza Mehdi, Salahuddin, Dilshad and Munawar. The casualties were driven to the Civil Hospital where the condition of one of the journalists, Mukhtiar Phulpoto, was said to be critical — he had received five bullet injuries.
Fear and panic gripped the village after the incident as angry mob forced shopkeepers to shut their shops. A heavy contingent of police cordoned off the area but no arrests had been made till the filing of this report.
Sources said the tragic incident was the result of an old enmity between two groups of the Janwri clan. However, others claimed the attack was to express anger against the new local government system.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed the authorities to submit an inquiry report.
They also directed the authorities to provide free of cost medical treatment to the injured.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.