KARACHI: Two men were killed and another was critically wounded in an armed attack on a roadside teashop in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Tuesday in what police suspected to be an “apparent case of terrorism” to create panic in the city, officials and witnesses said.
The officials said that two men riding a motorbike pulled up outside the teashop, fired multiple shots and sped away. The intense firing, they said, left three men wounded, two of whom died while being taken to hospital.
“The hotel is situated in Pehalwan Goth where mostly labourers are seen having tea or sitting with friends,” said an official at the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station. “The deceased were identified as 45-year-old Barkat Ali and 40-year-old Nazik while the injured, who’s still in a critical condition and being treated at the JPMC [Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre], is named Abdul Aziz, 35. The firing suspended [normal activities] in the area but enhanced patrolling and deployment of law enforcers, including Rangers’ personnel, brought the situation back under control.”
Initially, the police investigators remained clueless about the motive for the attack, but the initial findings suggested the motive of spreading terror in the city.
“Initially it was not clear what really led to this incident,” said DIG East Amir Farooqi. “But statements of the witnesses and initial investigations helped us connect the dots to conclude that it was apparently a terrorism-related attempt just to trigger fear and panic. The findings suggest that two men on a motorbike pulled up outside the hotel and one of them got off the two-wheeler. Within seconds he started indiscriminate firing on the people sitting there, leaving three of them wounded. The attackers neither spotted anyone, nor they looked for anything valuable. They sped away after executing the job.”
He said investigations were on and the police were collecting all relevant evidence from the crime scene and recording statements of eyewitnesses. The area, he said, had a multiethnic population following different sects. There was no apparent reason to suspect the attack against people of any particular ethnicity or sect, added the DIG.
The back-to-back incidents in the city’s East and South districts [a journalist was shot and killed in the DHA also on Tuesday] left the people of both areas shocked and in a state of fear.
Young girl, man drown
A 12-year-old girl and a 50-year-old man drowned in the sea off the Hawkesbay beach on Tuesday, officials said.
They said a family from Orangi Town came for picnic early in the morning. The picnickers blamed the absence of lifeguards on the beach for the loss of lives, but rescue workers say that visitors ignore repeated warnings issued by the authorities against swimming or bathing in the sea.
“While enjoying themselves in the sea, a girl named Mahek lost her balance and called for help,” said an official at the Mauripur police station. “One of the family members named Parvez went after her, but both disappeared in the water within a few seconds. We were informed by Edhi volunteers about the incident.”
After two-hour efforts, he said, the bodies of both victims were recovered from the sea. The dead were shifted to the Civil Hospital, where after formalities they were handed over to their families.
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2019