KARACHI, June 10: A young man was killed and several others were wounded in gun and grenade attacks in Lyari and Kharadar on Monday, the third consecutive day of violence, as the administration and law-enforcement agencies failed to control the situation, police and hospital officials said.
“During the past three days of violence, seven persons have been killed and 41 others wounded,” said DIG South Dr Amir Sheikh.
He said in coordinated raids, 16 persons were detained on Monday, of whom four suspects were ‘outsiders’. He said he believed that those ‘outsiders’ were ‘instrumental’ in creating a ‘conflict’ between the Kutchhi and Baloch groups in Lyari.
Speaking at a press conference in Lyari and later talking to Dawn, the DIG said that it had been decided that more police and Rangers would be deployed and more pickets set up to restore peace to the area.
Earlier, intense firing and grenade attacks took place in the Kalri and Baghdadi areas and intermittent firing continued the whole day on Monday, leaving many passersby, including children, wounded.
“Ten persons were wounded in the Kalri area,” said Kalri SHO Haji Sanaullah. He said one of the wounded identified as Suleman, 24, son of Ghulam Hussain, died from bullet wounds during treatment at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH).
Over a dozen wounded persons were brought from Lyari for treatment to the ASH, said a medico-legal official (MLO).
“We received seven wounded persons, including a seven-year-old boy and a police constable from the Napier, Kalri and Chakiwara areas of Lyari,” said an MLO of the Civil Hospital Karachi. He said the condition of three wounded persons was critical. They were identified as policeman Mohammad Imran, 32, Ahmed Raza, 15, Ahmed Hasan, 9, Zaheer Muzaffar, 30, Mansoor Ahmed, 30, and Wahid Soomro, 27.
SP-Lyari Najam Tarin said that criminals threw three grenades in different areas, causing injuries to half a dozen people.
In a grenade attack in Hingorabad, six people were wounded, said rescue sources. They were identified as Shoaib Gul, 26, Noor Muhammad, 48, Siddiq, 50, Yusuf, 28, Ramzan, 26 and Amir, 18, who were shifted to the ASH.
In gun attacks mostly in Agra Taj and Hingorabad and Bihar Colony, 10 people were wounded. They were identified as Wali Mohammad Hashim, 40, Abdul Sattar, 28, Kazim, 55, Abdul Aziz, 15, Munawwar Shafiq, 35, Haji Haroon Ali, 25, Mohammad Shafi, 32, Nayab Zakaria, 18, Abdul Hameed, 20, and Haji Mohammad Haji Ali, 50, and they were taken to the ASH for treatment.
In other areas, Zaheer Muzaffar, 30, and Mansoor Noor, 30, Waqar Shaukat, 25, received bullet wounds and were shifted to the CHK.
A passerby woman, Jameela Abdul Rehman, 40, sustained bullet wounds near the Bantwa hospital in Kharadar and was admitted to the JPMC.
A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation, whose ambulances shifted the wounded to hospitals, told Dawn that the Kutchhi community members demanded that they be taken to the ASH as they felt ‘more secure’ there while the Baloch victims were shifted to the CHK. The spokesperson said that though the ASH was far from the area, the victims with certain political or ethnic affiliations demanded that they be shifted there.
Informed sources said that political polarisation also affected the hospitals and the issue was taken up at one of the meetings presided over by the chief justice of the Sindh High Court regarding the law and order situation in Karachi (suo motu case 16/2011).
The Rangers DG had reportedly informed the participants that ‘according to their information still some political parties are holding the hospitals and controlled the same and in case of admission of political activists, doctors did not attend other casualties due to their pressure,” according to the minutes of the meeting reviewed by Dawn.
There are at least three different versions about the origin of the recent flare-up in violence, according to security officials. They said the killing of a Baloch man followed by that of two Kutchhi men formally ended the perceived truce between the two groups recently.
Another reason of the violence was attributed to the targeted action of Rangers in which an alleged criminal was killed while a passerby was wounded, prompting residents of Lyari to demonstrate a ‘harsh reaction’ over it. Such an enhanced protest compelled the authorities to withdraw the force from around eight to 10 pickets set up to prevent clashes between the groups and a ‘third force’ took advantage of the situation.
Asked that why the recently concluded ‘truce’ between the banned Peoples Amn Committee and the Kutchhi Rabita Committee arranged by the district administration and law-enforcement agencies at the DC-South office did not yield any positive result, the senior police officer said that ‘certain elements’ wanted to sabotage the deal.
“There are different reasons of the recent flare-up in violence,” added SP Tarin. He said a Baloch man was killed followed by the killing of two Kutchhi community members and obviously there was reaction to such killings.
However, he said, the Sindh government was making ‘serious efforts’ to restore the peace by inviting two stakeholders — the KRC and the PAC and a ‘third stakeholder’ if needed to bring about a truce among them.