39 hurt in grenade attack on JI Kashmir rally in city

06 Aug 2020

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POLICE officers scour the crime scene on University Road for evidence after the blast on Wednesday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
POLICE officers scour the crime scene on University Road for evidence after the blast on Wednesday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: At least 39 people were injured in a grenade attack on a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) rally held to condemn Indian atrocities and show solidarity with the people of Kashmir in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on Wednesday evening.

The banned Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

SSP-East Sajid Sadozai said that the JI took out a rally to observe Yaum-i-Istehsal-i-Kashmir from Baitul Mukarram mosque on main University Road to Hassan Square traffic intersection.

As soon as the rally started moving, two men riding a motorbike hurled a grenade at the rally and rode away, he said.

The grenade exploded injuring several participants of the rally who were shifted to nearby hospitals for treatment Police and hospital sources said that one of the 39 injured was in critical condition. Most of them suffered minor injuries and were discharged after initial treatment.

Hafiz Naeem points finger at India; banned nationalist outfit claims responsibility

JI spokesperson Zahid Askari said that the rally continued despite the attack and the city JI chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressed the participants at Hassan Square.

A health department spokesperson said that the injured were shifted to the Al Mustafa Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Aga Khan University Hospital and Liaquat National Hospital for treatment.

JPMC’s executive director Dr Seemin Jamali said the hospital received eight injured and none of them suffered life-threatening wounds.

Indian, Israeli agents behind attack: JI

Addressing the rally and later talking to the media, Hafiz Naeem termed the attack a cowardly act by Indian and Israeli agents that aimed to sabotage the mission of his party to condemn the Indian aggression and illegal occupation of Kashmir valley by Indian forces. He said such acts would not deter the passion of jihad shown by Pakistanis towards helping Kashmiris, who were struggling to liberate the held valley from the clutches of India.

Questioning the measures taken by securities agencies, he said the attack left a big question mark on the Sindh government.

He said the rally was attacked when it was denouncing Indian aggression against Kashmiris and showing solidarity with the people of the occupied valley.

“Indian, United States and Israeli agents are involved in this act and the government should take serious notice of the incident,” he added.

Parties slam attack on JI rally

The Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Pak Sarzameen Party and other political parties condemned the cowardly attack on the JI rally.

In a statement, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that those who carried out the attack were cowards and followers of Narendra Modi. He said that the attack was aimed at destroying peace in the metropolis. “I am sure the Sindh police will soon catch all the criminals involved in this cowardly act.”

Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and others also condemned the attack.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2020