The killing of a father and son in Lyari has shed light on the recent trend of violence in the restive neighbourhood where connections to a gang can be your death warrant.
Abdul Ghaffar, 50, who was the father of an alleged member of a Lyari-based gang paid the ultimate price along with his other son, 28-year-old Ghulam Mustafa. The two men were shot dead allegedly by members of a rival gang on Friday night.
Their relatives, witnesses and law enforcers claim neither Ghaffar nor Mustafa had any direct links with any gang. They were killed solely because another son of Ghaffar's - Ghulam Nabi - was actively involved in a Lyari-based gang.
The victims were sitting at home located on Gharib Shah Road in Kalakot on Friday night when over six assailants arrived outside their house on motorcycles. "They [gangsters] beckoned them to come outside the house and subsequently shot them multiple times in the middle of the street," said a resident of the area, SB*. "There were many people who saw them being shot but we could not do anything to save them."
According to sources affiliated with the gang, Ghaffar and Mustafa were not their intended victims but were killed because their original target could not be located. The alleged gangsters managed, however, to abduct Ghulam Nabi as he was returning home after paying respects to his deceased father and brother at Civil Hospital, Karachi.
They shot him multiple times as well and dumped his body near his residence at Gharib Shah Road. The family lost three members in two days. Police officials said that Ghulam Nabi was associated with the Uzair Baloch group and was the operational commander for the area. "They [Ghaffar and Mustafa] had no links with any gang," explained DSP Anwar Ali Shah. "But they were killed by members of Uzair's rival group, the Baba Ladla group, simply for being related to their enemy, Ghulam Nabi."
Currently, the 'gang war' is being fought between the two main groups. One is headed by Uzair Baloch, the former chairperson of the banned Peoples Amn Committee and the second is being run by Baba Ladla and his coalition partner, Ghaffar Zikri. In Lyari, killing members of the rival gangs was always a routine matter. What is alarming is that not even the family members or friends are being spared now.
Earlier on Friday, an elderly woman was killed and four others were wounded when members of the Uzair Baloch group hurled a hand grenade at the rival group's stronghold area, Zikri Muhalla. Law enforcers suspect that the latest killings could be a reaction to this attack.
This is not the first time that the blood of innocents has been spilled in Lyari. On September 19, Muhammad Zubair, and his three-year-old son, Daud Khan, were killed by alleged gangsters for having good relations with the law enforcers. In October 2013, 55-year-old Abdul Shakoor was shot dead along with his two young sons, Zahir Shakoor and Abid Shakoor, by gangsters who opened fire at their 'halwa puri' stall in Jhatpat Market, Lyari. They lived in an areas dominated by a rival gang and members of the Baba Ladla group suspected they were spying on them.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2015.
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