50 Shia activists killed in three months
By: Fasahat Mohiuddin
Karachi: Protesters on Thursday staged a sit-in on MA Jinnah Road with the bodies of three Shia activists killed in sectarian attacks on Wednesday night.
Jafaria Alliance (JA) spokesman Ali Ahmer said more than 50 Shia activists have become victims of either target killing or sectarian violence during the last three months. He added that during the last two days seven Shia activists had been killed
Sectarian killings and targeted attacks in Karachi have taken an alarming turn, prompting the Shia community to hold protest demonstrations and stage sit-ins to raise awareness and curb this menace. The killings had risen further after the anti-Islam film protest rallies as Shia activists became the main target, Ahmer told The News.
The sit-in was staged at Purani Numaish to denounce these killings and demand the arrest of the perpetrators. Security officials closed the road for vehicular traffic, causing serious difficulties for commuters.
A heavy contingent of police and rangers were deployed to avert any ugly incident. The JA spokesman said police and Rangers had become silent spectators as government had given a free hand to terrorists. During the sit-in, the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) protestors demanded the release of 30 activists detained by the police on Wednesday night.
He said there was a great sense of insecurity among the Shia people, adding “many of them are planning to migrate from Karachi and shift to other parts of city”. A large number of talented students are compelled to leave the city.
A man and his two sons had met the same fate in a targeted attack in Pan Mandi the other day, he added. Also a spokesman for the MWM, Ali Ahmer, talking to The News said bodies of three victims, Zahid Zaidi, Bilal Ali and Nisar Ali were at Rizvia Imambargah last night.
A second MWM spokesman Maulana Hasan Zafar Naqvi added that while the bodies were lying there, police arrested 30 Shia activists and seized some motorcycles parked at Imambargah. To mark their protest against this action of police, these three bodies had been shifted to Purani Numaish.
He said the MWM had also demanded the suspension of SSP Central Aslam Qaimkhani for his failure to arrest the target killers. He said the sit-in might continue until their demands were met. Despite repeated reminders, government has failed to address the grave issue.
He said prominent among those who became victim of target killings were doctors, engineers and lawyers. They were being forced to leave this city, he stressed. They have appealed to the international human right organisations to check this violation of rights.
Shia Ulema Council has also condemned these target killings and demanded of the government to take concrete measures to stop thse killings of Shia activists. The sit in ended after a police assurance for the release of arrested persons. The bodies were also laid to rest at a local grave yard.