HYDERABAD/LARKANA: Tensions remained high in Hyderabad and Jamshoro on Wednesday following the killing of a young man during a brawl at a hotel, and at least three people — including a policeman — received bullet wounds when an unidentified man opened fire.
Earlier on Wednesday, a judicial magistrate had remanded the murder suspect into police custody for two days in connection with the killing of the young man.
Hotel owner Shah Sawar Pathan was produced in court by police and the judge granted a police request for a two-day remand.
He was arrested soon after a scuffle at his restaurant located near Nasim Nagar police post in which 35-year-old Bilal Kaka was killed, while four of his friends were injured. However, the co-accused nominated in the FIR have not yet been arrested.
Hotel owner accused of killing young man during brawl remanded in police custody
Kaka was killed in the scuffle after he was brutally beaten with iron rods. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of Fakir Mohammad Kaka village in New Saeedabad on Tuesday evening. Shah Sawar Pathan, who was arrested after the incident, has also received superficial injuries in the fight.
The incident sparked a backlash after a video went viral showing a police mobile and some policemen present outside the hotel while the scuffle was underway and the sound of gunfire was audible. However, in the footage, the police party remained unmoved. This evoked a strong reaction on social media from activists of nationalist parties who condemned the police indifference.
On Wednesday, groups of young men patrolled different areas of Hyderabad and Jamshoro, forcing tea shops and restaurants run by the Pashtun community to close down. Some shops were ransacked as well, while hotels in the Market Tower and Cantonment areas were shut down.
Later on Wednesday night, someone opened fire after a mob attempted to ransack a shop at Petaro bus stop, Jamshoro.
The injured included policeman Abdul Sattar Qambrani, Shahnawaz Brohi and Kashif Rind. Owned by a member of the Brohi community, the shop was run by a Pashtun.
Separately, Hyderabad Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amjad Ahmed Shaikh on Tuesday formally constituted an inquiry committee to assess the response of local police.
The body would determine the role of police officials seen in a video that went viral, where they are seen standing outside a hotel at the time of the brawl.
Separately, the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) chairman Sanan Qureshi condemned the murder of Bilal Kaka and appealed to Sindhis to adhere to peace. Addressing at hurriedly called press conference at Larkana Press Club on Wednesday, evening he said a murderer was a murderer and condemned the reaction that erupted in the aftermath of the incident.
Flanked by Momin Samo and Athar Soomro, he said that while they did not oppose others residing on Sindh’s soil, the target killings of labourers could not be tolerated. He said Sindh was already in a difficult situation and questioned the conspiracy that was leading the province down such a path.
Sane voices, including women rights activist and Sindh University teacher Amar Sindhu, rights activist Zulfikar Halepoto and others condemned all attempts to foment ethnic strife in Sindh.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2022
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