Monday, December 1, 2008

Killings, terror grip Karachi

Violence continued for a second consecutive day in the city on Sunday following the riots that erupted on Saturday.At least 21 more people were killed and 50 were injured in separate incidents of violence, riots and firing in different parts of the city. The total death toll has risen to 30 and around 200 people are reported to be injured, these include doctors and paramedics.Law enforcers are gathering details of the violence. They have been directed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Sindh chief minister to submit a report within 24 hours.

It is believed that law enforcement agencies (LEA) have failed to control the city’s law and order situation and have arrested only a few of the miscreants from different parts of the city. The routine life of the city was disturbed and different trade centers, markets, petrol pumps, shops and CNG stations remained closed and the city’s transport system remained suspended. The government declared red alert in the city, it deployed rangers and increased police patrolling in the city and declared an emergency in all city hospitals. Officers who were on leave have been called by due to the law and order situation. Two dozen vehicles, dozens of shops including the timber market in Godhara, New Karachi, were set on fire. Those injured included women and the paramedical staff of the Qatar and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

The police and Rangers are hesitant to take actions despite having been given shoot at site orders.In Orangi Town, petrol pump employee Ali was shot dead and a security guard Naseem sustained injures while Mominabad Orangi, Abdul Rehman was shot dead. Another young man Kamran Khalid was tortured and mutilated before being killed. In Gulistan-e-Johar, Rasool Jan was killed, Jalaluddin was shot dead in Ajmair Nagri and an unknown man was shot in KBR Society. Amanullah, an alleged Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) worker was killed at the Korangi Crossing while Faisal Qadir, an alleged Sunni Tehreek worker was killed within the limits of Surjani Police Station. Nasir a private clinic employee was killed in Soldier Bazaar, and unknown man in Aram Bagh, Fazal Malin in Kharadar, Akthar Ali within the limits of Preedy Police Station in Model Colony and Abdul Latif and two others in Gulshan.Asif, 40, an owner of a local ice-cream shop was gunned down while a passerby sustained injuries in the firing incident at the shop situated near Hyderi, North Nazimabad. Sajid Jhoki, who was said to be affiliated with a political party, was gunned down in the Gulbahar area and Rozi Khan, a watchman was killed by the firing of unidentified miscreants. Two more were reportedly killed in Raees Amrohi Colony, Orangi Town. Banaras, Orangi Town, Qasba Colony, Baldia, Ittehad Town, Sohrab Goth, Pak Colony, Gurumandir, Patel Para, Nagan Chowrangi, Gulistan-e-Johar, Malir, Quaidabad and surrounding areas, were the worst affected areas.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed to control the law and order situation in these areas. Qatar Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent (DMS) Dr Khalid told Daily Times that around 25 injured people and a body arrived at the hospital on Sunday while 107 injured and three bodies came to the hospital on Saturday. “Miscreants mutilated the ears of around four people and attacked the hospital team near Qasba More,” the DMS said. “Three doctors and two other employees sustained serious injuries when they were on their way home from the hospital.” The injured include Dr Khalique, Dr Shibli Malik, Surgeon Naushad and the paramedical staffers Arshad and Rafique. He added that two who were critically injured were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital after initial treatment.

Dr Khalid had asked law enforcement authorities to provide security to the hospital staff otherwise it would be difficult and dangerous for doctors to work in such circumstances. He said that around eight doctors are still working their shifts in the hospital from the first day of violence.Karachi Police Chief Wasim Ahmed, said that over a 100 miscreants carrying arms and are affiliated with both groups, were arrested from different parts of the city. “They were disturbing the law and order situation,” he said and added that cases have been registered against all of them. Ahmed revealed that since Saturday, 18 people have lost their lives, of whom 13 were killed on Saturday and the remaining five were killed on Sunday. He stated that there are 103 police stations in the city. “The trouble is within the jurisdictions of eight police stations whereas there is a complete calm everywhere else,” Ahmed explained. The 2 million population of Orangi are stranded in the town. Majority of the victims were targeted when they were on their way home from Banaras. The police and Rangers posts were also allegedly set up in the affected areas, especially in Orangi Town.

There were also some unconfirmed reports stating that some houses were set on fire in Orangi Town and some women were raped by miscreants. Meanwhile, victims of ethnic violence have started shifting from areas that witnessed clashes. Shakeel, a resident of the Qaimkhani Colony Baldia Town, told Daily Times that many people left their houses because of intense firing throughout the day. He added that houses were set on fire and the miscreants misbehaved with women. A resident of Orangi Town said the same and added that people who were living right in the middle of the clash have evacuated their houses. Similar situations have been seen in Sohrab Goth.

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