Upper Sindh on lockdown as cleric’s grandson buried

Shafiq Ahmed Shah was killed in a blast that targeted his grandfather’s caravan near Jacobabad.

Our Correspondent February 22, 2013

SUKKUR: A day after a powerful bomb blast hit the caravan carrying renowned religious scholar Syed Ghulam Hussain Shah near Jacobabad, thousands of mourners attended the funeral prayers of the cleric’s grandson, Syed Shafiq Ahmed Shah, who had died in the incident.

Meanwhile, complete shutter down strikes were observed in Jacobabad, Sukkur and Qamber-Shahdadkot districts on Thursday, as mourners organised rallies and staged demonstrations to protest the incident, which has been billed as the first case of a targeted attack on a religious scholar in rural Sindh.

Ghulam Hussain, a custodian of the Dargah Hussainabad in Qamber, was on his way to address a religious gathering in Ahmed Din village with his close family members and devotees, when the blast took place at Koreja Shakh, near Jacobabad, on Wednesday afternoon. Six people, including the cleric, were injured, and they were all taken to Civil Hospital, Jacobabad, where Shafiq Ahmed succumbed to injuries.

Bomb disposal squad members claimed that the bomb was hid in a stack of hay along the side of the road, and weighed approximately two and a half kilogrammes. The device was controlled by a remote, he added.

On Thursday, Shafiq Ahmed was laid to rest in Dargah Hussain Abad in Qamber. Ghulam Hussain himself led the funeral prayer of his grandson, and a large number of his followers were in attendance.

Strict security measures had been put in place inside and around the shrine, and all participants had to go through a full body search. However, no case had been registered against the incident.

Protests across upper Sindh

Routine activities came to a standstill in Jacobabad and nearby cities for the second day on Thursday. Activists belonging to various religious parties organised a rally from Jamia Mosque Pir Bukhari, and shouted slogans against the government. They staged a demonstration after reaching the press club.

There were reports that a partial strike was also observed in Larkana. Rallies were organised in many other towns and cities of upper Sindh. Meanwhile, Sunni Tehreek activists staged demonstrations in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas districts.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2013.


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