DADU/HYDERABAD: A gun battle broke out between police and activists of different nationalist groups at Sann on Tuesday when police tried to arrest some absconding suspects and initiate a crackdown on ‘anti-state’ elements during several separate programmes to celebrate the 119th birth anniversary of veteran Sindhi nationalist leader G.M. Syed.
Three policemen and two activists were injured while two police mobiles were torched during the violence. Some leaders of certain nationalist groups claimed that one of their wounded colleagues succumbed to gun shot wounds. DIG Pir Mohammad Shah confirmed that a police officer, Inspector Abdul Razzaq, the gunman of Jamshoro SSP and a constable were injured when they were hit with stones.
The DIG said that police had information that activists of the proscribed Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) had planned to raise anti-state slogans and display such banners during the programmes to appease India. He said when police tried to prevent them from anti-state activities, the participants of the programmes started pelting police and Rangers personnel with stones. “Miscreants also torched police mobiles,” he said, adding that police had picked up three suspects and some others were taken away by Rangers peronnel.
One of the injured suspects, Mohammad Hanif, son of Abdul Hakeem, 25 was brought to the Liaquat University Hospital’s city branch in Hyderabad for treatment.
According to Riaz Ali Chandio, chairman of his own faction of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM), his party’s activist, Irfan Mallah, also received bullet injuries. Riaz was speaking to the media while leading a protest demonstration at Jamshoro railway crossing against the firing incident. He said that police had entered venue of his party’s public meeting where birth anniversary of G.M. Syed was being observed. He said objectionable slogans were being raised by activists prompting police to take action against them.
Three policemen, two activists hurt in clash at Sann; police claim participants were raising anti-state slogans
Condemning police for disturbing the programmes by resorting to a crackdown and firing, Sindh United Party, which had organised the main programme at the venue, announced that a protest against police action would be held across Sindh on Wednesday (today).
SUP leader Syed Munir Haider Shah, who is a member of the Syed family, accused police of attacking SUP activists first.
He termed the police action ‘brutality’.
Meanwhile, Jamshoro SSP Imran Qureshi ordered deployement of more police units at different places in Manjhand, Khanot and Jamshoro along Indus Highway amid reports about a crackdown on the programmes’ participants returning home from Sann. He claimed late Tuesday evening that more than 25 SUP workers had already been rounded up and shifted to some unknown places.
Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2023
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