Protest over carnage cripples life across Sindh
KARACHI: A day of mourning and protest was observed on Sunday in the entire Sindh on a call given by the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) which was supported by the Shia Ulema Council (SUC) and various political and religious organisations, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, against the Jan 10 Quetta carnage targeted against the Shia sect.
At least 118 people, most of them belonging to the Shia sect and the Hazara community, lost their lives in the carnage.
Life in all cities and towns came to a standstill as all markets, bazaars, shops, business establishments and commercial concerns remained shut and vehicular traffic off the road from dawn to dusk.
Thousands of people took part in the scores of sit-ins held at various places in each city and town. Sit-ins were also staged on different sections of Superhighway and Indus Highway. Similar protests on rail tracks blocked various train services between Karachi and other parts of the country.
HYDERABAD: A complete shutterdown and was observed in the entire district to express solidarity with the Hazara community, who lost scores of its members in the carnage. Vehicular traffic remained off the road till sunset.
Men, women and children belonging to the Shia sect resumed their sit-ins at different places in the city on Sunday morning after staging a similar protest on the previous day. At a sit-in held on the Hyderabad Bypass, protesters demanded immediate deployment of army in Quetta to launch a major operation against terrorists and protect citizens.
A man was injured in a firing incident that took place at Channel Mori along Mirpurkhas Road. However, police claimed that no one was injured in the firing, adding that two persons were arrested and a gun was seized from them.
The Rahuki police said the arrested men, Hazoor Bukhsh Sand and Anwar Sand, were riding a car and they opened fire after altercation with protesters over blocked thoroughfare.
While all fuel stations in the district stayed closed on Sunday, public transport with cities and towns and inter city transport services also remained off the road.
Personnel of the Rangers and police were deployed at all places of sit-in to prevent any untoward incident.
MQM MNA Salahuddin, MPAs Syed Waseem Ahmed and Nadeem Yousuf, Awami Tehrik president Ayaz Latif Palijo, PML-F MPA Nusrat Seher Abbasi met leaders of Shia organisations at the venues of various sit-ins and expressed solidarity with protesters.
Meanwhile, a large number of candidates, who had come here from different parts of Sindh, were turned away as a written test scheduled to be held on Sunday to fill 400 posts of doctor under the auspices of the Sindh Public Service Commission at Old Campus Hyderabad, could not be held due to the province-wide protest.
SUKKUR: A shutterdown was observed in Sukkur, Jacobabad, Ubauro and Mirpur Mathelo towns while protest demonstrations and sit-ins continued for a second consecutive day in Ghotki, Pannu Akil, Kandhkot, Thull several other cities and towns.
Both tracks of the National Highway, Indus Highway as well as rail track, remained blocked throughout the day due to the protest. Several up and down trains which were to arrive at the Rohri station were halted at different railway stations for want of clearance.
Shalimar Express, Awam Express, Pakistan Express and other trains were stopped at Pannu Akil, Ghotki, Padidan, Hyderabad and other stations.
The Moro-Sukkur, Sadiqabad-Mirpur Mathelo-Ghotki-Ubauro and Sibi-Jacobabad-Shikarpur-Sukkur road routes were blocked by protesters for more than 24 hours.
Thousands of public transport vehicles, and goods carriers besides private cars remained stranded along the highways for many hours.
The protesters strongly condemned terrorist attacks on the Shia community and demanded handing over of Quetta to the army.
DADU: Routine life Dadu and adjoining towns remained paralysed by protest demonstrations and mourning.
A large number of people took part in a demonstration held at the SSP Chowk against the Quetta carnage.
A shutterdown was observed across the district and vehicular traffic remained off the road. Inter-city transport services on Dadu-Moro, Dadu-Larkana, Dadu-Johi and Dadu-Hyderabad routes did not operate on Sunday.
Protests were also held in Manjhand, Kotri, Jamshoro, Johi, Sehwan and Mahar.
THATTA: Members of the Shia community along with activists of political and religious parties and civil society organisations took to the streets of Thatta, Mirpur Bathoro, Chuhar Jamali and Jati on Sunday to protest and mourn a huge loss of life in the Quetta carnage. All cities and towns of Thatta district remained shut and vehicular traffic off the road.
Hundreds of protesters waiving black flags and wearing black armbands raised slogans against the government, terrorists and sectarian forces while they marched on the streets of the cities, as well as smaller towns of Jherruck, Jhimpir, Makli. A large number of protesters also converged on the National Highway and stage a sit-in blocking the inter-city traffic throughout the day.
The sit-in was continuing till last reports came in.
Jamaat-i-Islami leader Mumtaz Sehto joined-in the protest demonstration and, speaking to the protesters, said the government had no moral right to rule over the country after failing to protect citizens while terrorists were attacking them at their whim.
He expressed solidarity with the carnage victims on behalf of his party and demanded immediate removal of the Balochistan chief minister along with his cabinet.
PML-N leader Marvi Memon also visited the protesters and expressed solidarity with them and the bereaved families on behalf of her party.
LARKANA: Calling for dismissal of the Balochistan government and seeking army’s help to protect the Shia community, a large number of people staged protest demonstrations and sit-ins at various places in Larkana district on Sunday amid a complete strike observed in several cities and towns.
A sit-in was stated in front of the main gate of Jinnahbah where protesters vowed to stay on until acceptance of their demands.
Protesters coming from different areas of the district marched on the streets of Dokri and then proceeded up to Channa Bridge covering three kilometers. Later, they staged a sit-in to condemn the Quetta carnage and terrorist attacks on the Shia community.
Similar protests were held in Shahdadkot, Qambar, Ratodero and other towns.
MIRPURKHAS: A complete strike was observed in Mirpurkhas district on Sunday on a call given by the MQM while the Shia community observed a day of protest on the appeal of the MWM.
No public transport was witnessed from dawn to dusk on the roads and thoroughfares of Mirpurkhas city during the shutterdown.
SANGHAR: Hundreds of people took part in a rally and a sit-in outside the local press club against the Quetta carnage and government’s failure to protect members of the community.
Activists of Pakistan Muslim League-F, Awami Workers Party, Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party and civil society organisations also joined in the protest. Similar protests were held in Shahdadpur, Tando Adam, Shahpur Chakar and Jhol.
UMERKOT: Six people were wounded in a free-for-all in Kunri town, where a protest sit-in was being staged against the Quetta carnage.
Two men riding a motorcycle engaged in an altercation with protesters after finding the way blocked. Later, a fist-fighting broke out and someone used firearms. At least five persons were injured in the clash and taken to the Kunri Taluka Hospital for treatment.
KHAIRPUR: Members of the Shia community in Khairpur staged a sit-in on National Highway near Shah Hussain By-pass on Sunday morning and continued their protest till late in the night.
Demanding a halt to terrorist attacks on their community, they raised slogans and call for immediate removal of Balochistan government.
Protest demonstrations and sit-ins were also held in Gambat, Ranipur, Babarloi, Kot Diji and Kumb towns. ‘Indefinite’ sit-ins were held in Naushahro Feroze, Nawabshah, Shikarpur and other towns.