Thousands of angry mourners blocked for traffic the road leading to the Governor’s House in protest against the murder of Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i- Fiqh-i-Jafaria Allama Nasir Abbas on Monday.
The protest went on for several hours till the funeral prayers were offered, after which most of the protesters dispersed quickly.
A senior police official told The Express Tribune that more than 500 police personnel had been deployed on The Mall.
The protesters chanted slogans against the government and initially threatened to put off the burial till the murderers were arrested. They also demanded the resignations of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and asked for a crackdown against banned militant outfits.
Abbas’s body was brought to a point on The Mall in front of the Governor’s House after a post-mortem.
Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen general secretary Maulana Abuzar Mehdavi said the protest would continue till a lawmaker came and talked to them.
Millat-i-Jafria leader Hamid Ali Moosavi condemned the murder and said the killing “would not deter us from the way of truth”.
The TNFJ and Tahaffuz-i-Azadari Council have announced three-day mourning and countrywide protests against the killing.
Earlier, hundreds of mourners gathered in front of Shaikh Zayed Hospital to protest the murder. They took away the body from police who were taking it to Jinnah Hospital for post-mortem examination early morning on Monday. They placed the body in front of the Governor’s House on The Mall and staged a demonstration that continued for several hours till the police persuaded them at around 8am to allow them to take the body for an autopsy.
Later in the afternoon, the body was taken to Imam Bargah Qasr-i-Batool in Shadman to be washed and shrouded. Agha Ali Hussain from Bhakkar led the funeral prayers.
The body was then taken to Multan for burial. Most of the protesters dispersed soon after that but some continued to protest.
City SP Imtiaz Sarwar spoke to them and promised to provide Shiite leaders better security in the future.
Allama Nasir Abbas, a resident of Multan, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at the Ferozpur Road underpass near Forman Christian College at around midnight on Sunday. He was on his way home after attending a mourning session in Shadman.
Police said that two men on motorcycles intercepted Abbas’s vehicle and shot him several times. Abbas’s driver Munawar Hussain and Ghulam Abbas, one of his students, were unhurt.
The driver took Abbas to Shaikh Zayed Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Operations SSP Rana Abdul Jabbar and the Iqbal Town SSP rushed to the hospital with a team and collected evidence from the scene of the crime and from the car. They also recorded the statements of the driver and Abbas’s companion.
Garden Town police have registered an FIR on charges of terrorism against two unidentified assailants.
The FIR was registered on Munawar Hussain’s complaint.
Police have cited Sections 302 (murder), 34 (conspiracy) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act.
Investigation officer Inspector Muhammad Aslam told The Express Tribune that according to the initial autopsy report, Abbas had bullet injuries to his neck, face and head.
He said the assailants had used Kalashnikov rifles. He said the Punjab Forensic Agency was investigating the murder.
Capital City Police Officer Chaudhry Shafiq said it appeared to have been a target killing however it was too early to say anything conclusive as they did not have any leads yet.
The assault came nine days after an Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat leader, Maulana Shamsur Rehman Muawiya, was killed in a similar fashion near Ravi Road. Governor Muhammad Sarwar has asked for a report from the Punjab Police IG.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2013.
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