JUI-F protests over activist’s ‘killing in encounter’

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LEADERS and workers of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl stage a sit-in before the funeral prayers for a JUI-F leader at the Numaish traffic intersection on Sunday.—Online
LEADERS and workers of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl stage a sit-in before the funeral prayers for a JUI-F leader at the Numaish traffic intersection on Sunday.—Online

KARACHI: Leaders and workers of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Sunday evening ended their hours-long protest held at the Numaish traffic intersection against the killing of their leader Mufti Shah Faisal by police in an alleged encounter in Quaidabad on Friday.

They put off the protest after high-level contacts between leaders of the religious party and the police authorities in which a pledge was made that their ‘reservations’ would be addressed at a meeting on Monday (today).

Sindh police IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali and Karachi AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo would hold talks with a seven-member delegation of the JUI-F to be led by Senator Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro, said police and the JUI-F leaders.

“Talks would revolve around three main demands of the JUI-F leaders,” said Karachi-East DIG Munir Ahmed Shaikh.

The party leaders have certain ‘reservations’ over the alleged encounter in which Mufti Shah Faisal with six others was killed.

First, they demanded that a team of ‘competent and honest’ police officers be set up to investigate the encounter, said the DIG-East. If it was found that the encounter was ‘not genuine’, the ‘situation should be rectified as per the JUI-F demand’. Secondly, Munir Shaikh said, the religious party leaders demanded ‘action’ against Malir SSP Rao Anwar and Quaidabad SHO Amanullah Marwat that were likely to come under deliberations at Monday’s meeting. Thirdly, the JUI-F had also raised other ‘issues’ in the rest of Sindh faced by party leaders and activists and it wanted that such purported police actions should be avoided in the future.

JUI-F Karachi leader Qari Usman corroborated the views of the senior police officer.

The religious leader who led the protest told Dawn that they accepted the ‘request’ made by two senior police officers over the phone with him and their provincial leader Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro. Now they would not march on Chief Minister House carrying the body of Mufti Shah Faisal.

Later, they held funeral prayers at Purani Numaish and dispersed peacefully as the authorities made a ‘promise’ that an ‘inquiry’ would be launched into the encounter.

Qari Usman claimed that Mufti Shah Faisal was taken away from his home in Surjani Town with his brother Noor Wali on Aug 23. The Sachal police released Noor Wali on Sept 2 at around 8pm after taking Rs25,000 as a ‘bribe’ and the police allegedly killed his brother Mufti Faisal in a ‘fake encounter’ at Quaidabad on Friday.

He said the JUI-F delegation would hold talks with the Sindh police IG at his office on Monday at 4pm.

Earlier, speakers at the gathering demanded constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the ‘extrajudicial murder’ of Mufti Shah Faisal and release of party workers, warning that otherwise the JUI-F would block all entry and exit routes of Karachi until their demands were met.

Those who spoke at the sit-in included Qari Muhammad Osman, Maulana Abdul Karim Abid, Maulana Muhammad Ghayas, Maulana Omar Sadiq, Qazi Fakhrul Hasan, Maulana Ehsanullah Takarvi, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Nomani, Qazi Aminul Haq Azad and Kaleemullah, brother of the slain Mufti Shah Faisal .

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2014