ISLAMABAD: At least five people were killed in armed clashes among groups of people in two separate incidents in the rural area of the capital on Thursday.

According to police, the fights took place in Bhara Kahu and both were related to land disputes.

In the first incident, a group of people, armed with modern weapons, opened fire on their rivals in Phulgran near Seri Chowk. Five people sustained bullet injuries.

Assuming that they all were dead, the attackers escaped.

People from nearby areas later gathered on the spot and found four of them dead and two others injured.

The deceased were identified as Raja Nasir, Advocate Raja Haroon, Imran Saeed and Adnan Gul while the injured were identified as Zeeshan Qadeer and Shakeel.

Reports have emerged that guards of one of the deceased were also killed in the attack but nothing was confirmed at the time this news report was filed.

However, information in this regard is being collected.

Police said the attack was carried out to avenge the murder of Raja Zaryab on Jan 1, adding two of the deceased — Raja Nasir and Raja Haroon — had also been nominated in the first information report (FIR).

It has been alleged that Zaryab’s father along with others carried out the attack on Thursday.

Both groups were involved in the business of selling land to private housing societies and a conflict between them emerged when both claimed ownership on a piece of land in the area.

Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Secretary Advocate Mohammad Bilal Mughal, in a statement, condemned the killing of Raja Haroon Qadir, advocate of the high court, along with the others.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if police were not incompetent and the IBA demands that immediate legal action be taken against involved officials,” the statement said.

In the second incident, a man died and six others were injured during an exchange of gunfire between two rival groups in a village located near Angori Road.

Several complaints over ownership of land had been lodged by members of both the groups with police and the capital administration in the past.

A team from the revenue department, including a patwari, along with a contingent of police on Thursday reached the spot for demarcation of the land in order to resolve the dispute. One of the groups was in favour of this whereas the other opposed it.

While work was underway, armed members of both the groups assembled on the land and began threatening each other. Consequently, the clash turned violent as iron rods and batons were used by them besides an exchange of gunfire.

Somehow, the police contingent succeeded in taking the officials and themselves to a safer place, police said.

One person, identified as Raja Faiz, was pronounced dead whereas six others were injured.

The attackers escaped before another contingent reached the spot, police said, adding the injured were identified as Raja Tahir Aurangzaib, Umar Jahangir, Jahangir Rehman, Imran Aurangzaib, Aqib Mushtaq and Ahad.

After the incidents, police cordoned off the villages and formed teams to arrest those involved in the attacks.

The police spokesman said that FIRs about the incidents have still not been registered.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2022

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