HYDERABAD: A 35-year-old man was killed and five of his colleagues were injured in a scuffle at a hotel near Wadhu Wah in Nasim Nagar early on Tuesday morning, drawing angry reaction from nationalist parties who believed the attackers were Afghans nationals.
Police arrested the hotel owner while Hyderabad senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amjad Ahmed Sheikh suspended over half a dozen policemen for failing to avert the incident.
The incident took place at Super Salateen hotel off Hyderabad bypass near Wadhu Wah where deceased Bilal Kaka and his four friends had gone to have food at around 2:30am.
According to FIR of the incident, late Bilal’s brother Salam Kaka said quoting his friends Sarfaraz Sanjrani, Imran Khan, Zeeshan Jamali and Waqar Patoli who were with him at the hotel that they were having food when waiter misbehaved with them. When they complained to the hotel owner about his attitude the owner Haji Shah Sawar rudely asked them to leave.
Immediately afterwards, the owner called his friends who came armed with pointed iron rods and attacked Bilal on his head. When people gathered there the attackers resorted to aerial firing to disperse them and fled away when they felt Bilal had died, he said.
SSP Amjad Ahmed Sheikh said while talking to protesters who had blocked a section of Hyderabad bypass in front of the restaurant on Tuesday morning, demanding registration of FIR, that police were verifying whether the owner was Afghan national. The FIR had been lodged and the hotel owner had been arrested while other accused too would be brought to justice soon.
He confirmed that policemen of Bhitai Nagar and Nasim Nagar had been suspended for their inaction and ‘cowardice’ as they did not intervene when the incident happened.
According to an unverified account of the incident, the scuffle had started over payment of bill and soon turned violent.
Dr Niaz Kalani of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Punhal Sario and others had led the protest.
Nationalists slam incident
The incident caused an outcry among nationalist circles who believed the hotel owner was an Afghan national. They quickly linked the incident to the issue of influx of outsiders in Sindh.
Sindh United Party chairman Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said that lawlessness was increasing with each passing day thanks to Afghan settlers and influx of outsiders in Sindh.
In a statement issued here Tuesday, he said that his party had been raising voice over this issue and demanding repatriation of outsiders to their countries but state institutions were not showing seriousness and their actions were rather making them more powerful.
He urged activists of Sindh national movement to stay away from Sindhi-Pathan ethnic strife but they should not give any property for business or residence to Afghan nationals.
Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that influx of outsiders had increased lawlessness in Sindh.
Talking to different delegations at his party office on Tuesday, he said that the murder of Bilal Kaka was a case in point. PPP government was signing agreements with outsiders only for the sake of its power in Sindh and the party was accepting their unconstitutional and illegal demands, he said.
Awami Jamhoori Party president Syed Lal Shah, general secretary Khadim Talpur and others also condemned the incident and demanded arrest of the attackers.
They said that the police officials who allowed the attackers to flee from the area should also be taken to task.
Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2022