KARACHI: A young factory worker was killed, three other persons were wounded in firing and two buses and a shop torched on Thursday in Orangi Town violence that erupted after a man was killed in a clash over collection of Zakat and Fitra in Bangla Bazaar, police said.
The violence was sparked on Wednesday evening when three people, including an activist of the Pakistan People’s Party, were attacked in the market in a dispute over collection of money by a group distributing Zakat and Fitra slips in the market, said a senior police officer of the area.
“The dispute was over how another group was distributing slips of ‘Fitra’ to collect money from the market,” the officer added.
Karachi PPP leaders said that the party worker, Javed Behari, was shot dead for refusing to take the slip for payment of Fitra.
Immediately following the incident, the area reverberated with intense firing forcing closure of all markets within the remit of the Pakistan Bazaar police station.
In the early hours of Thursday, Mr Behari died during treatment at a private hospital.
In the morning, almost all the markets and shops remained shut and as the news of the death spread, violence broke out in the area. Sector 13 and 15 of Orangi Town were the worst-hit areas, with reports of complete market closure and heavy firing.
Three passengers and a pedestrian were wounded in firing on a bus, the police said, adding that one of them, Adil aka Bablu, was shifted to Qatar Hospital where he died.
The other victims — Farzana Naseem, 35, Rani Bibi, 20, and Mohammad Naeem — were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where they were admitted for treatment.
Adil was a resident of Orangi Town Sector 13-G and heading to a garment factory, where he used to work, when he sustained fatal gunshot wounds, the police said, adding that his family took away the body from the hospital without completing medico-legal formalities.
Following the gun attack on the passenger bus, a tailor’s shop, a bus of Z-4 route and a 7-star coach were set on fire near Islam Coach. Around a dozen of pushcarts were torched in Sector 15.
Karachi Division PPP General Secretary Syed Najmi Alam strongly condemned the killing of the party worker, Mr Behari.
He said ‘terrorists’ were distributing slips for Zakat and Fitra in Bangla Bazaar and they opened fire on him when he declined to accept the slip.
Mr Alam said that every citizen of Karachi knew who distributed and collected Zakat and Fitra here and those refusing to pay were murdered. He called upon the law-enforcement agencies to rid the people of the menace of extortion in the name of Zakat and Fitra. He also demanded immediate arrest of the ‘identified’ suspected killers.
Following the funeral at a local mosque, Mr Behari was laid to rest in the Orangi Town Sector 15-D graveyard.