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KARACHI, June 25: Police on Tuesday detained 12 youths accompanying a funeral procession to the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard on the Superhighway for firing into the air due to which one person was killed and three others were wounded.

Raja Nadeem Abbas, said to be a trustee of the Imambargah Madinatul Ilm, was killed in a Gulshan-i-Iqbal locality on Monday. Funeral prayers for him were offered in the Incholi area on Tuesday from where his body was taken to the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard for burial in the form of a procession.

The police said that some of the participants in the funeral procession, who were riding motorbikes, turned violent and started firing into the air.

“Around one dozen armed motorcyclists accompanying the funeral procession resorted to firing in Federal B Area in district central leaving one person wounded,” said Malir SSP Mazhar Nawaz. “When the mourners entered the area within the jurisdiction of Malir district, the motorcyclists fired into the air and the bullets hit two more persons at Al-Asif Square.”

The Malir SSP said that while passing through the New Sabzimandi area they again resorted to firing, killing a labourer and wounding another person.

The Sohrab Goth police said that the labourer, Mohammad Asif, 25, was critically wounded as he suffered a bullet wound in the chest at the gate of the Sabzimandi. Another person, identified as Sadiq, 30, was also wounded and both of them were taken to a nearby hospital where doctors declared Asif dead.

The police said that Ismail Gulrez, 50, and Ismail Pirzada also sustained bullet wounds at Ganna Mandi when armed men riding motorbikes fired into the air.

The killing sparked a protest from other labourers of the Sabzimandi, as they blocked the main Superhighway and lit bonfires.

The highway remained closed for all kind of vehicular traffic for some time.

The SSP said that the labourers of the Sabzimandi blocked the Superhighway in protest against the killing of their colleague.

“For past two years there has been a disturbing trend that whenever a body is brought for burial to the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard, some persons resort to firing assuming that their supposed rival group(s) live in the area. Such acts often create tension in the locality,” said SSP Nawaz. “Today, we decided that enough is enough and the police took a decisive action to detain 12 suspects along with their motorcycles and arms…they are being interrogated.”

He said that the protesters who had blocked the Sabzimandi dispersed peacefully after the police took action and detained the suspects.

Sohrab Goth DSP Mohammad Khalid told Dawn that a cousin of the victim labourer lodged an FIR against unidentified motorcyclists under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

MWM blames Taliban

A spokesperson for the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM), Ali Ahmer, said that two persons were wounded, one of them critically, when ‘the Taliban elements’ attacked the funeral procession of Raja Nadeem.

“It has often been noted that such elements fire on mourners that sometimes result in deaths,” he added.

The MWM spokesperson criticised the Rangers and police for failing to take action against the ‘Taliban attackers’ and said that the law-enforcers detained ‘16 persons’ who were returning from the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard following the burial.

He expressed concern over the action and asked as to why the police and Rangers did not provide security to the mourners.