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KU professor shot dead in Karachi

Updated April 29, 2015

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Professor Wahidur Rahman was an instructor at the Karachi University's mass communication department. —Online/File
Professor Wahidur Rahman was an instructor at the Karachi University's mass communication department. —Online/File

KARACHI: Assailants on Wednesday shot dead an assistant professor of the University of Karachi (KU) in Federal B area.

Dr Syed Wahidur Rahman, also known as Yasir Rizvi, was an instructor at the Karachi University's Mass Communication department.

Professor Wahidur Rahman's identification card identifies him as an assistant professor. —DawnNews screengrab
Professor Wahidur Rahman's identification card identifies him as an assistant professor. —DawnNews screengrab

Although DIG West police Feroze Shah told Dawn that the slain professor belongs to the Shia community, Dr Rahman's colleagues at KU, on condition of anonymity, said it is not clear whether he belonged to the Shia sect.

Professor Wahidur Rahman was killed when four unidentified attackers riding two motorcycles opened fire on his car. —DawnNews screengrab
Professor Wahidur Rahman was killed when four unidentified attackers riding two motorcycles opened fire on his car. —DawnNews screengrab

He was killed when four unidentified attackers riding two motorcycles opened fire on his car.

—DawnNews screengrab
—DawnNews screengrab

Police surgeon Dr Jalil Qadir said Dr Rahman received five bullets wounds on his face, neck, chest, abdomen and arm while police reportedly recovered eight bullet cases from the site.

The assailants managed to flee the scene soon after the attack.

Dr Rahman's body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Karachi.

Dr Rafia Taj, former chairperson of the Mass Communication department, told Dawn.com that the slain assistant professor was an active member of the faculty.

She also said his death is a "great loss for the department" and that he was a kind and polite person.

A KU professor who requested anonymity told Dawn.com that Dr Rahman had been working as a journalist for the past 15 years and was relatively a new staffer at the varsity.

"He was a very dedicated and honest teacher and it’s possible that his killing might be related to the recent killings of teachers at KU and NED," the professor said.

Regarding speculation that Dr Rahman’s killing is linked to KU’s scheduled talk on Balochistan "Baloch Missing Persons and the Role of State & Society", the professor said, “He was in no way related to the ‘Unsilencing Balochistan Take 3’ to be held on May 6 at University of Karachi".

In the wake of Dr Rehman's death, university activities have been suspended for two days.

Soon after the news of his death broke, students and teachers rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

Earlier in September of last year, Prof Dr Muhammad Shakeel Auj, dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies at KU was shot dead on University Road in Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

Read: KU dean Shakeel Auj shot dead

Police in Jan 2015 had claimed the arrest of a suspect who had allegedly confessed to his involvement in the murders of Karachi University dean of Islamic Studies Prof Dr Shakeel Auj and Prof Syed Sibte Jafar.

Earlier this month, the vice-principal of the Jinnah Medical and Dental College's student affairs wing Debra Lobo was shot and seriously injured on Shaheed-e-Millat Road in Karachi.

Read: Gunmen shoot vice-principal of Karachi college

Rampant violence has terrorised Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city and economic heartbeat, in recent years, but a recent security crackdown seems to have brought a lull in the bloodshed.

Kidnappings for ransom, sectarian attacks and gang warfare have spiralled since 2008, terrifying the city's 18 million inhabitants and prompting tens of thousands of businessmen to flee to the safety of Punjab province.

The city claimed a grisly record in 2014 as 2,029 people were murdered on its streets, according to the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).

Students Protest

Students and admirers of Dr Rahman protested against his murder outside the university's Silver Jubilee Gate on University Road.

Students demanded that the culprits be handed down punishments on an immediate basis and safety should be provided to the teachers and students in Karachi.

—DawnNews screengrab
—DawnNews screengrab
—DawnNews screengrab
—DawnNews screengrab

Police began a probe into the incident and observed similarities in the murders of Dr Rahman and Dr Shakeel Auj.

President Mamnoon Hussain took notice of Dr Rahman's murder and sought report into the incident from Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

PM condemns killing of KU professor

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the killing of Karachi University's Assistant Professor Dr Syed Wahidur Rahman and sought a report into the incident.

He prayed that the departed soul rest in eternal peace and directed the authorities to apprehend the criminals at the earliest.

The premier said his government is making sincere efforts to rid Karachi of criminal elements, and expressed confidence that the situation in the metropolis would soon improve.