HYDERABAD, Sept 13: A complete shutterdown was observed on Thursday across Sindh, barring a few areas of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, on a strike call given by Sindh Bachayo Committee — a conglomerate of many Sindh-based political, nationalist and other parties — against the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance, 2012 promulgated recently.
While the protest remained peaceful in most areas of the province, some incidents of firing and clashes between supporters and opponents of the strike were reported from Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas in which one person was killed and about a dozen others wounded.
There were conflicting reports about what led to the firing in Mirpurkhas that left the man, Shahadat Jarwar, son of Murad Jarwar, dead and four others, Sohail Mahar, Wahid Bux Baloch, Hassan Baloch and Mohammad Arif Qureshi, were wounded.
One of the injured, Mahar, stated that he and some 200 other participants in a rally taken out by the Awami Tehrik (AT) were attacked by gunmen near Ahmed Hotel while it was passing through Colony Road, Thamsabad. AT leadership in Hyderabad told a press conference that Jarwar was their party colleague.
According to another account of the incident, shops in Gharibabad, Hirabad and Colony Road in Thamsabad were opened in the morning but some participants in the rally riding motorbikes resorted to fire and spreading panic which forced traders to pull down shutters.
While the rally participants were marching on the streets, an exchange of firing also took place and police, in order to avert a clash between rival groups, diverted the rally towards Ahmed Hotel on Colony Road the participants came under an armed attack. Some rally participants forced shopkeepers to observe a shutterdown but faced resistance, received a thrashing and forced to flee the area leaving behind their motorbikes, which were torched by shopkeepers.
One of the wounded man, Shahadat Jarwar, later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital. He was stated to be a resident of Deh 189, Tando Jan Mohammad.
The condition of Arif Qureshi and Hassan Baloch was stated to be serious. Mr Baloch, a resident of Seed Farm, Mirpurkhas, was taken to the Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad.
Mr Jarwar’s murder case was lodged by his father at the Town police station. MQM activists Saleem Farman, Shakeel Qureshi, Mohammad Shahbaz, Afaq Baig, Faisal and Saleem Phoolwala along with six unknown persons have been nominated as attackers in the FIR.
In Hyderabad, seven people, including a child, received bullet wounds in separate incidents during a partial strike on Thursday.
A rickshaw driver, Mohammad Shahbaz 35, a resident of Khurshid Colony, Kotri, was wounded in firing by assailants at Pakora bus stop in Qasimabad. His condition was stated to be precarious. The rickshaw passenger, Abid, said that the shots were fired from a moving car, which was chased by police but could not be caught.
An AT activist, Ghulam Mustafa, said that occupants of the car disembarked and opened fire on a rally at Pakora Chowk leaving his friend, Dayal Sairai, and the rickshaw driver, Shahbaz, wounded.
Meanwhile, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Bashir (JSQM-B) leader Dr Niaz Kalani has claimed that four activists of his party — Zaheer Lashari, Raja Bhatti, Khawar aka Sunny and Sabab Ali Junejo — received bullet wounds when, according to him, some rival activists attacked them in Tando Mir Noor Mohammad Talpur, unit-4 Latifabad.
Dr Kalani told journalists that local PPP leader Mir Fatah Talpur was also involved in instigating the attack.
He claimed that 500 JSQM-B activists were rounded up in Sindh.
A truck driver, Walayat Khan, received pellet injuries on Hyderabad bypass when his vehicle was attacked.
In Latifabad unit nos 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, and 12, Tilak In-cline, Chotki Ghitti, Station Road, Lajpat Road, Liberty Chowk, Shahi Bazaar, Resham Bazaar, Seroghat Chowk and other areas, shops and businesses remained open as usual though there were no customers. Vehicular traffic also remained thin. However, a complete strike was observed in Qasimabad, Saddar, Cantonment area, Timber Market, Tando Wali Mohammad, Giddu Chowk, Gari Khata and Khokhar Mohallah.
Thin attendance was reported at educational institutions, government departments and private sector establishments. Private transport was also affected. Activists belonging to component parties of SBC took out a rally from Qasimabad.
It was led by Roshan Buriro of SUP, Dr Abdul Hameed Memon of STP, Abdul Qadir Ranto of AT and Masroor Thebo of JSQM-B.
The rally was heading towards the press club but was stopped by police at Gymkhana Chowk to avoid any untoward incident.
They returned peacefully to Naseem Naggar Chowk, Qasimabad and staged a sit-in there and later on the Hyderabad bypass.
Activists of Awami Tehrik and its women wing, Sindhiani Tehrik, also staged a sit-in at Naseem Nagar Chowk.
Activists of Sindh National Movement (SNM) protested against SPLGO outside the press club.
A group of lawyers led by Ayaz Tunio and Khuda Bux Leghari and others took out a rally from the Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad circuit bench to sessions court. No untoward incident was reported during the protest.
SUKKUR: A complete shutter down strike was observed in all major cities and towns of Sukkur, Ghotki, Jacobabad and Kandhkot-Kashmore on Thursday against the new local government law.
Markets, bazaars and shops in Sukkur, Rohri, Pano Akil and Salehpat towns remained completely shut and Shahi Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, wholesale cloth market, Hussain Road, Station Road, Gharibabad, Mehran Markaz, Miani Road, Dhak Road, Frere Road, Nishter Road, Anaj Bazaar, Barrage Road, Shikarpur Road, Shaheed Ganj, Marich Bazaar etc wore a deserted look throughout the day.
Rallies were taken out by Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Pary, various factions of Jeay Sindh Tehrik, Awami Tehrik and other nationalist parties in almost all cities and towns to condemn the SLGPO.
LARKANA: A complete shutterdown and wheel jam strike was observed in Larkana and Qambar-Shadadkot districts on Thursday.
Activists of different nationalist parties, carrying banners and placards and raising slogans took to the streets and after marching on main roads, assembled at the main gate of Jinnahbagh where they staged a demonstration.
While petrol pumps remained closed, public and private transport in the city and on all routes from Larkana and Qambar-Shahdadkot up to Balochistan remained off the road.
NAWABSHAH: A complete shutter down strike was observed against throughout the Shaheed Benazirabad district on Thursday.
All main markets including Sarafa bazaar, Liaquat market, Katchehry, Masjid, Lal Building, Qazi Ahmed, Hospital, Dhamrah Road and Sakrand Roads, Mohni Bazaar etc remained closed.
A number of firing incidents were reported from various parts of the city but there were no casualties.
Local leaders of Sindh Bachayo Committee staged a protest demonstration outside the press club. When they marched towards Sakrand road, police stopped them and later raided various places to arrest four JSQM activists, Shahid Joyo, Nazeer Panhwar, Gul Dahiri and Qayoom Mehar. Strict security was witnessed.
A strike was also observed in Daur, Bandhi, Qazi Ahmed, Doulatpur, Jam Saheb, 60 Miles and other towns. Sakrand police allegedly opened fire when activists of Sindh Tarraqi Passand Party staged a protest demonstration at the Four-mile stop on National Highway injuring an activist, Pappu Unnar.
STP activists staged a protest demonstration outside Sakrand police station to demand arrest of the policemen involved and registration of an FIR against them.
THATTA: A complete wheel-jam strike was observed in Thatta district against promulgation of SPLGO 2012. All main bazaars and markets in Thatta, Jhimpir, Malki, Jungshahi, Gharo, Dhabeji and Mirpur Sakro remained closed. Attendance remained thin in offices and schools.
Clashes were reported between police and activists in Thatta, Makli and Sujawal Road after which 15 activists of different nationalist parties were arrested.
Six of them were Awami Tahrik activists including its district president Bilawal Lashari, taluka president Sahib Khan Khoso Usman Lashari and Mehtab Karnani, Javed, Shaukat Karnani, Razaq, Ejaz, Amir and Rafiq Memon of SUP. They were later released.
Lawyers also boycotted court proceedings. District Bar Association President Rasool Bux Samoo, Liaqat Jamari, Punhoo Uqaili, Lakhano Bahrani and Munawar Bhutto led a protest rally outside press club against SPLGO.
Shahri Action Committee and Tehrik-i-Insaf Students Federation also brought out rallies and SPLGO.
KHAIRPUR: A complete shutterdown was observed in Khairpur city and eight talukas of the district on Thursday. Separate protest rallies were taken out in Khairpur city by activists of Muslim Students Federation-F, JSQM, Sindh United Party (SUP) and lawyers of District Bar Association (DBA) Khairpur on Thursday.
Members of Khairpur DBA took out a rally from the district bar building and marched towards Punj Gulla Chowk, raising slogans against SPLGO 2012 and terming it anti-Sindh. They demanded its withdrawal.
A separate rally of JSQM, SUP, Khairpur Awami Ittehad, Fikri Forum, PPP-SB was taken out from Mariam Taup.
A shutterdown was also observed in other talukas including Kingri, Gambat, Sobhodero, Nara, Faiz Gunj, Kot Diji and Thari Mirwah.
MITHI: A shutterdown was observed and protest rallies were taken out in Mithi, Diplo, Nagarparkar and Chhachhro towns of Thar by activists of PML-Q likeminded, PML-F, AT, STP, JSQM, and SNF against promulgation of SPLGO. The activists holding banners and placards, assembled at Kashmir Chowk in Mithi and blocked Mithi-Naokot Road.
Later they staged a protest outside press club and raised slogans, terming SPLGO a conspiracy to divide Sindh. They appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan to declare it null and void.
A complete strike was observed and rallies against the SPLGO were taken out in Umerkot, Dadu, Badin, Naushahro Feroze and Sanghar by leaders of various nationalist and political parties.
The people of Sindh have rejected the “Anti-Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012” by observing a complete and peaceful strike across the province on Thursday, said Jalal Mehmood Shah, while addressing a post strike conference at his residence, Hyder Manzil in Karachi, our staff reporter adds.
Mr Shah, the convener of Sindh Bachayo Committee and also president of the Sindh United Party, claimed that one SBC activist, Shahadat Jarwar, was killed and three others were critically wounded in what he described as a terrorist attack in Mirpurkhas. He also claimed that 35 others were also injured and dozens arrested across Sindh.
However, he congratulated the people for staying peaceful amidst direct provocation by arrests and use of force against the SBC workers.
Mr Shah also thanked Pakistan Muslime League-Functional (PML-F) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) for extending their support.
He said that the SBC would meet on Sunday all the other stakeholders who also opposed the local government ordinance to decide the future course of action.