KARACHI: A mob protesting the arrest of Awami National Party (ANP) activists burned and injured two men passing them by on Friday. The victims turned out to be the security guard of a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator, the guard’s father and his son.
Police said that the guard, Muhammad Naeem, 30, was on his motorcycle with his father Muhammad Younus and six-year-old son Nadir Ali, when they came across some people who had blocked the road near the Lyari Expressway, Sohrab Goth.
The protesters intercepted them, and then threw acid and a burning tyre at them before taking off.
The family was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for first aid and then to Aga Khan Hospital but since it did not have a burns ward, the men were finally moved to Civil hospital. According to hospital sources, the victims sustained seven to 10 per cent burns on their legs and hands. “They are in stable condition,” said the medico legal officer.
Taking notice of the attack, however, the chief minister directed the CCPO to find out who was behind it. Senator Abidi and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s coordination committee condemned the incident.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Gulshan TPO Naeem Shaikh said that Naeem’s house, in Buffer Zone, was under construction which is why he was going to Sohrab Goth to get a gravel truck, when the attack took place around 4 pm. He said that the protestors were wearing masks but the police believed they were ANP sympathisers because they were venting their anger against the operation in Pakhtun-dominated areas. The TPO said that Naeem was a police constable and has been working as a security guard for Faisal Raza Abidi.
ANP spokesperson Qadir Khan told The Express Tribune that there was no question of his party’s involvement. He maintained that no protest was staged by the ANP in Sohrab Goth or anywhere else in the city. “Police and Rangers are working on the agenda of a particular political party and they want to defame us,” he said. “Several ANP workers are being arrested by the law-enforcement agencies and to make things worse, now the police are trying to insult us. This is intolerable.”
with additional input from wires
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2010.