At least 12 friends, four of them stated to be workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, went ‘missing’ on Tuesday night while they were on their way to Hyderabad from Karachi to attend the wedding of a friend of theirs, police, party officials and relatives said here on Wednesday.
All of them belong to Gulistan-i-Jauhar, where the relatives protested and lodged their ‘missing’ report at a police station.
The residents of Noman Grand City of Gulistan-i-Jauhar had left their apartments in three vehicles to attend the marriage ceremony of their friend Zain in Hyderabad. When they reached near Hyderabad, they were intercepted by unknown men who forced them to disembark from their vehicles and took them away and since then their whereabouts were not known, said their relatives and the MQM.
Home minister Sohail Anwar Siyal tells the Sindh police chief to locate the missing men
The relatives, mostly women and children, on Wednesday noon staged a sit-in on Prof Abdul Ghafoor Road in Gulistan-i-Jauhar near Perfume Chowk to lodge their protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of their dear ones. They blocked both tracks of the main road. They set fire to old tyres on the road, causing suspension of traffic for hours. The protest that started at around noon continued into the evening.
Gulshan SP Abid Qaimkhani said the protesters agreed to vacate one lane of the road for traffic. He said they submitted an application at the Sharea Faisal police station about their ‘missing’ relatives. In the application, they stated that the men were on their way to attend their friend’s wedding when they were intercepted near Hyderabad by unidentified men who forced them to disembark from the vehicles and took them along. Since then their whereabouts were not known. The Gulshan SP said the police would refer the matter to the police station concerned in Hyderabad since the incident did not occur within the jurisdiction of the Sharea Faisal police station.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement coordination committee claimed that the ‘missing’ men were their party workers and supporters. Almost all of the missing persons were residents of Noman Grand City in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
According to the MQM coordination committee, four of them were party workers while the remaining eight were supporters. The party said they went to attend the marriage ceremony in three vehicles and their last contact with their families was made at 10:30pm on Tuesday.
The MQM said Waleed Kamal and Shayan Rehman were their party’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar Sector’s Unit-B office-bearers and Yasir Kazmi and Sajid Usmani were their workers. The eight others namely Adil, Raheel Khan, Asad Raza, Saad Hashmi, Adeel Mirza, Wasim, Rehan and Junaid Ali were MQM supporters.
The party urged the prime minister, the interior minister, the chief minister and the home minister to make efforts for early and safe recovery of the missing persons.
Taking notice of the incident, home minister Sohail Anwar Siyal directed the Sindh police chief to make efforts to trace the missing men. He also issued directions to the police to conduct spot checks on vehicles and take steps to improve the law and order situation.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed the police chief on a phone to furnish a report about this matter to him, according to the spokesperson.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2015