KARACHI, June 10: At least five men said to be associated with a notorious gang of drug peddlers were shot dead and their accomplice was wounded in a gun attack on Sunday in the Mauripur area, police said, linking the incident to gang warfare in Lyari.
The police believed that over a dozen men belonging to the Shiraz Comrade gang had arrived at the residence of Haji Salam alias Salamu, situated in Musharraf Colony, either to get his gang’s support for the People’s Amn Committee or to convince him to not forge a likely alliance with the Arshad Pappu group. Failing in their attempt, they opened fire on the Salamu gang and fled, according to senior police officers.
The deceased persons were identified as Haji Salam alias Salamu, 57, his brother, Shehzad alias Charlie, 43, their nephew, Kamal Nasir, and their two associates, Waseem and Altaf, said Mauripur SHO Sub-inspector Mohammad Atif.
The official added that a son of Shehzad, Asghar, was wounded in the attack carried out after the gangs had an altercation during the daytime in the 500-Quarters area of Musharraf Colony, off Hawksbay Road.
During initial investigation, the SHO said, it emerged that the Shiraz Comrade group wanted Salamu group’s allegiance for the outlawed Amn Committee to safeguard their interests in the Mauripur area. However, he said, the Salamu group was apparently reluctant to the proposition. Perhaps they were pre-empting a likely alliance between the Arshad Pappu and Salamu groups, he remarked.
Police investigators said that several dozen spent bullet casings of 9mm pistols were collected from the crime scene.
They added that the deceased and wounded persons were taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where Salamu died during treatment. Hospital sources said three victims had been brought dead while two others died during treatment.
Salamu was a notorious drug peddler of Lyari, the officials said, adding that he along with his accomplices had relocated to the Mauripur area about 10 years back due to the gang warfare between Arshad Pappu and Rehman alias Dakait groups.
One of his brothers, Nasir, was killed in an alleged encounter with police in Lyari in the 1990s, said the officials.Following the deadly attack, tension prevailed in Musharraf Colony where heavy contingents of the Rangers and police arrived to control the law and order situation.
Police were quick to describe both assailants and victims as criminals. They were wanted by police in cases related to narcotics, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and extortion, the officials said.
A senior police officer of the area who didn’t want to be named told Dawn that the Shiraz Comrade group was based in Mowach Goth and linked to the Amn Committee. The killing took place on the suspicion or information that the Salamu group and the Arshad Pappu group were about to join hands, the officer added.
No case was lodged at the Mauripur police station in connection with the killings till Sunday night.