KARACHI: A man was shot dead and several vehicles were set on fire and ransacked during a protest by hundreds of people on Superhighway at Al-Asif Square in Sohrab Goth on Thursday evening following the recent killing of a man in Hyderabad. During the protest on the highway, incidents of firing and arson occurred in which a bus was set on fire and some vehicles were ransacked, said police and witnesses.
However, the Superhighway was cleared to traffic when the police took action after the negotiations failed to peacefully disperse the protesters. Police said 25 people were taken into custody.
Earlier, city police chief Javed Akhar Odho told Dawn that around 2,000 people had blocked both tracks of the Superhighway near Sohrab Goth.
He said contingents of police led by DIG-East Muquddus Haider and SSPs of East, Malir and Central and Special Security Unit had arrived on the spot to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
One killed, bus and two motorbikes torched; Murad warns ‘protesters’ to behave
He said certain elements resorted to firing. As a result, one man suffered bullet wounds. A bus had also been set on fire, he said, adding that the police and other law enforcers had tried to disperse the protesters peacefully.
A traffic police spokesperson said that because of the protest at Sohrab Goth, the traffic coming from the Superhighway was diverted from Jamali Pull to a Model Road and inside roads towards Safoora Goth.
Later in the night, East-SSP Syed Abdul Rahim Sherazi told Dawn that the highway from Sohrab Goth to Jamali Pull had been cleared to traffic after a police action. He said a bus and two motorbikes were torched by the mob.
The police and other law enforcers saved a heavy vehicle from an arson attack by protesters.
An Edhi Foundation spokesperson in a statement said that they recovered one tortured body from the Superhighway near the Taj petrol pump. The body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors stated that the victim had been shot in his head. He was identified as Nazeer Allah Warayo, a resident of Lasi Goth.
Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said there was a single bullet wound on his forehead.
A Motorway police official said both tracks of M-9 remained blocked for around three hours.
Murad warns protesters to behave
The chief minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, in a statement urged all the people who have taken law into their own hands not to pollute the peace of this city.
“I know how to protect the peace and people of this province,” he said and warned the protestors to behave; otherwise govt knew how to maintain peace and the killers would be treated as killers irrespective of their identification.
Separately, speaking at the 44th death anniversary of famous Sindhi language short story writer Naseem Kharal at the Arts Council in the evening, the chief minister said: “The enemies of this land are now trying to give the colour of ethnicity to crimes. The criminals are criminals and we have to understand this. A person killed a young boy at a tea shop in Hyderabad and the law has taken its course but we cannot term the incident as the crime by a particular community as a whole.”
Meanwhile, he took notice of the killing of Bilal Kaka in Hyderabad on July 12 and subsequent events, said an spokesperson for the chief minister in a statement. “No one will be allowed to spoil the peace in Sindh,” vowed the chief minister.
He said people of different languages and cultures had been living in peace and harmony in Sindh since decades.
Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2022