The death toll in the ongoing round of violence in the city continued to climb on Monday with the murder of five people, including four Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists. Two of these killings resulted in a violent reaction that disrupted routine life in the Old City areas.
Four men were shot near the Paan Mandi area of Lea Market in the wee hours of the day. Sub-Divisional Police Officer Mushtaq Tanoli of the Risala Division said the injured men were rushed to the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), where 32-year-old Irfan succumbed to his injuries, while Sher Alam, Hanif and Asghar Ali managed to survive.
Investigations revealed that the four men were sitting outside a house when they were attacked. Four men on two motorcycles opened fire on them and escaped.
Police sleuths said Irfan was an MQM activist while the three other men were supporters of the party. Irfan suffered multiple bullet wounds on his body and the police found empty pistol shells at the crime scene that were sent to the Sindh Police Laboratory for forensic tests.
The sleuths added that Irfan’s murder could be part of the ongoing target killing spree. An FIR was lodged at the Risala police station against “unidentified gang war elements” that were booked under the sections pertaining to murder and attempt to murder and Section-7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Afterwards, tension gripped the area where the incident occurred when some men fired gunshots in the air. MQM leaders and activists reached the CHK, where they condemned the attack and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. The funeral prayer for the victim was offered at Memon Masjid in Kharadar.
While MQM leaders and activists were preparing to participate in Irfan’s funeral prayer, another party activist, identified as Mansoor alias Choori Wala, was targeted near Kagzi Bazaar in Kharadar in the afternoon.
Mansoor was a resident of the same area where he was attacked and an activist of MQM’s Unit-3B of Kharadar. Two men on a motorcycle shot him and fled.
He was shifted to the CHK, where he died during treatment. He suffered multiple bullet wounds on different parts of his body. MQM leaders and activists went to the CHK again and staged a protest against the murders. They alleged that their rival group was behind the killings of their activists.
Reacting to Mansoor’s murder, unidentified men fired gunshots in the air, forcing Jama Cloth Market, Kharadar Market, Jodia Bazaar and Kagzi Bazaar to shut down.
Mansoor’s relatives and MQM activists and supporters took his body near Merewether Tower and staged a protest demonstration, demanding the arrest of the murderers.
They dispersed after the police assured them that the culprits would be held soon. Mansoor’s funeral prayer was offered at Memon Masjid in the evening.
Investigators said Mansoor’s murder appeared to be another case of target killing. They added that empty shells of 9mm and 30-bore pistols were found at the crime scene and sent to the forensic division. A case was registered and further investigations were under way.
In another attack, two men, identified as Sharif and Qazi Anees, were shot near Azeem Plaza in the Usmanabad area of Garden.
Garden SHO Muttahir Hussain said the two men were shifted to the CHK, where Sharif succumbed to his injuries. He was struck by a single bullet that pierced his neck and emerged out of his mouth. The other man, Anees, was still in a serious condition.
Investigations revealed that both men were close friends and residents of Azeem Plaza. They were sitting near their homes in the afternoon when two men on a motorcycle opened fire on them.
The police found three empty shells of 9mm pistol at the crime scene and sent them to the forensic division. Sharif was a rickshaw driver, who left behind a widow and five children. He was the sole bread earner of his family.
Investigators said both men were MQM activists and that could have been the reason behind the attack. The police have filed a case and were further probing the case.
Separately, a man was shot dead in Gali No 14 in the Bihar Colony area of Lyari. Police said the victim, identified as Asim Ahsan, was a resident of the same area where he was murdered.
He was sitting outside his house in the evening when two men on a motorcycle gunned him down and fled.
The police shifted the body to the CHK for autopsy and cordoned off the crime scene to preserve evidence. Investigators said Ahsan was a member of the MQM’s Lyari Sector. They added that the victim suffered five bullet wounds on different parts of his body. Empty pistol shells were found at the crime scene and sent to the forensic division. A case was filed and further investigations were under way.
In another case, two men were shot near the Karachi Auditorium in Garden West in the evening.
Abid and Zeeshan alias Shani were close friends and were sitting at a restaurant when two men riding a motorcycle opened fire on them and fled.
They were taken to the CHK, where Abid died during treatment while Zeeshan survived. The police found empty pistol shells at the crime scene.
Investigators said Abid was a supporter of a political party and a resident of Garden West. Zeeshan is the son of a police head constable, Hadayat, and a resident of Old Golimar.
They added that the attack could be part of the ongoing target killing spree. However, initial investigation has not confirmed if the two men had any enemies. The police have registered an FIR and were further probing the case.
In a late-night incident, a cracker went off near an MQM Unit office in the Hussainabad area of Azizabad, causing a small explosion, said SSP Central Qaimkhani. One person suffered minor injuries. Hussainabad has one of the busiest markets and a thriving food street. Tension developed in the area and all markets closed after the blast.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Najeeb alias Najeeba was shot dead by two motorcyclists in the Baldia No-7 area.