RAWALPINDI: In what appears to be yet another sectarian incident in the garrison city in a span of three weeks, a religious leader was attacked by unidentified assailants on Wednesday, police said.
Nazir Hussain Imrani, imam of Qasr-e-Sajjad Imambargah, Iqbal Town, who is also a schoolteacher, was attacked by two unidentified assailants in Dhoke Kashmirian on Wednesday morning.
Police said Imrani was returning home on a motorbike after dropping his daughter off at school. When he reached Dhoke Kashmirian, two unidentified assailants riding a motorbike fired a volley of bullets at him and fled from the scene. Rescue 1122 took Imrani to Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH).
“It’s too early to say anything about the motive behind the killing, but in my opinion it seems like a sectarian attack,” said Sadiqabad Station House Officer Malik Allah Yar. Speaking to The Express Tribune at BBH, Raja Zawar, a close relative of Imrani said they “collected 11 bullet casings from the crime scene, of which I think three to four bullets hit Imrani”.
Quoting the doctors, SHO Allah Yar said that Imrani had been shot in the chest and face and was in critical condition. A police contingent was deployed at the hospital to avoid any untoward incident.
The police said Imrani, 50, was the imam of Qasr-e-Sajjad Imambargah and was also a teacher at Government Jamia High School.
The Sadiqabad police registered an FIR of the incident against two unidentified assailants on the complaint of the imambargah’s caretaker.
Earlier, on December 31, four unknown assailants killed three police constables deputed outside Imambargah Qasr-e-Shabeer in the limits of Race Course Police Station. Later, on December 17, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of Asna Ashari Imambargah in the heavily-guarded Gracy Lane area, killing four including two police officials.
Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi chapter of the Punjab Teachers Association held a meeting at Jamia High School to condemn the attack. “We demand immediate arrest of the attackers, failing which we will boycott our classes,” said the association’s general secretary Azmat Abbasi.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2014.