Gunmen kill Shia leader during mourning procession in Chiniot

Published: January 1, 2013
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Shia community members identify one of the attackers as a former Sipah-e-Sahaba leader. PHOTO: APP/file

Shia community members identify one of the attackers as a former Sipah-e-Sahaba leader. PHOTO: APP/file

LAHORE: Organiser of Shia religious activities and license holder for the main mourning processions in Chiniot, Malik Mukhtar Hussain, was allegedly target killed by six armed men during a mourning procession which was underway on December 31.

Six gunmen on three motorbikes had barged into the vicinity of Imambargah Qasr-e-Abu Talib located in Chowk Shori Pipli area in Muhallah Rangraizan and opened fire at Hussain.

Two teenage devotees were also injured in the attack that took place during the mourning procession for the death of the 8th Imam of Shias.

Eye witnesses told the The Express Tribune that although the imambargah compound does not have a gate, security was beefed up by police. They added that the gunmen tried to forcibly enter the compound and succeeded in crossing the police check point, eye witnesses said.

Syed Shahan Raza, devotee and eye witness of the incident told The Express Tribune via telephone that, Hussain had walked past him, moving towards the entrance point of the imambargah to inquire why there was a clamour when the armed motorcyclists opened fire at him.

Raza said he went to the DHQ Hospital with Hussain and that he had to be shifted to Allied Hospital in Faisalabad, but Hussain succumbed to his injuries on the way. Raza added, “Hussain had received several bullets including one in the head.”

34-year-old Hussain owned a catering business and leaves behind a young son and a wife.

The incident took place between 10:45pm to 11:00pm on Monday.

An FIR against the gunmen was lodged under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 780 A of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Station House Officer of the concerned police station, Naveed Murtaza, was suspended as a result of “negligence” in this incident. District Police Officer Zameerul Hassan said, “We have been working on this case since Hussain was murdered.”

The newly inducted SHO of the police Station, Ghulam Abbas, told The Express Tribune that the police have not yet managed to arrest any of the suspects named in the FIR, however, he said that the police was conducting raids.

The two teenagers, identified as Muazzam Ali, 16 and Zeeshan Ali, 17, came under fire because they were standing behind Hussain in the procession.

Muazzam was put on a ventilator late last night owing to critical injuries he sustained in the chest and neck. Zeeshan was also injured with a bullet that pierced through his chest.

Members of the Shia community of Chiniot told The Express Tribune that the attackers abandoned their bikes at the imambargah and managed to evade the police. They identified one of the attackers as Chauhdry Zulfiqar Jutt, a former Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan district-level leader. Jutt has a criminal record.

Locals said that sectarian tensions in the area had increased after the murder of banned militant outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba’s former district president Hafiz Abubakar in September, 2012.

In the month of Ramazan during August 2012, founder of banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and now the Vice President of Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jammat, Malik Ishaq, visited a mosque in Chiniot and an FIR was registered against him on charges of inciting hatred by delivering speeches that fueled sectarian tensions in the area.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • hashem
    Jan 1, 2013 - 1:45PM

    New Year started with a bad news on the first page…..wonders how will be the rest of year

    Recommend

  • Harshvardhan sharma
    Jan 1, 2013 - 1:45PM

    Happy new year to all pakistanis

    Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jan 1, 2013 - 2:23PM

    And that is how Pakistan brings in the new year…. with a bang and a blast.

    Recommend

  • unbiased
    Jan 1, 2013 - 2:25PM

    ur voices wont b heard until the silent majority speaks up !!!

    Recommend

  • unbiased
    Jan 1, 2013 - 2:33PM

    nice to see ET back on track !! hope it persists

    Recommend

  • Patriot Paki
    Jan 1, 2013 - 2:37PM

    how long this country will remain a slave of Saudia Arab ? Relation with saudia needs to be reshaped

    Recommend

  • Ali Zaid
    Jan 1, 2013 - 3:14PM

    If ASWJ or LeJ or any other infidel terrorist think they would succeed in stopping Azadari, Majlis & Juloos through terror activities, please read history of Shiite religion. The number of Shiites has only evolved due to blood-shed. There were only 72 Shiites in 61 Hijra who got martyrdom for Hussain, now there are 600 million Shiites around the globe who consider martyrdom a reward.
    You can not threaten Shias! You can not halt their activities.Recommend

  • Muhammad Hamza
    Jan 1, 2013 - 3:18PM

    Shame on Takfiri Groups & Govt of Pakistan including GHQ & SC.

    Recommend

  • Nasir Malik
    Jan 1, 2013 - 3:20PM

    The banned organization SSP is still involved in killing of innocent people yet government is doing nothing. Punjab govt is supporting banned organizations for its political benefit. Shame on federal govt, shame on punjab govt

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  • Ali
    Jan 1, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Suo Moto? anyone?

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  • imran
    Jan 2, 2013 - 2:26AM

    Saudi Arabia in action once again!

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