The gunfire, which lasted a couple of minutes, spread panic in the area as people ran helter-skelter to save their lives. A passing motorist, identified as Ali, tried to reverse his car out of the troubled spot, but was unable to escape the bullets and was among the several injured.
“This attack specifically targeted the public,” said Kharadar’s Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Iftekhar Ahmed Lodhi. However, the police would probe the incident from all angles, he said.
With Ramazan around the corner, criminal groups in Lyari see the holy month as a prime opportunity to make money through extortion, police said.
The gangsters thought the time was ripe to spread fear among the locals and extend their turf. They arrived just before Friday prayers and started shooting random people on the steet, police said. Kharadar is an area where some key wholesale and retail markets are located.
SDPO Lodhi said that the cops were informed about the carnage and they rushed to the spot, where they found several people lying in a critical condition.
The victims were rushed to the Civil Hospital, while the police cordoned off the area. Fazal Maula, 52, Fatima Bibi, 48, and Faisal Memon, 35, died during the treatment.
Fazal Maula was a resident of the same area, while Bibi Fatima, who also lived nearby, was in the market to buy some vegetables when she suffered the bullet wounds, Lodhi said. Faisal’s house was also in Kharadar and he was standing at a chicken shop when the gangsters struck.
The Kharadar Police said that they lodged an FIR of the assault against 20-25 Lyari gangsters, including Waseeeullah alias Lakho, Ayub Zehri, Sikander alias Sikho, Mohammed Akber, Sarwar Baloch, Taj Mohammed alias Taju and Shahzad Comrade. The FIR included sections 302 (Murder), 324 (Attempt to Murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), while Section-7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was also is added.
Earlier in the day, before the carnage took place, an armed clash erupted between two rival groups.
Police investigations revealed that the shootout between the two groups took place in the Machli Mini Market in the morning, but the gangsters escaped when law enforcement personnel arrived at the scene.
SSP Tariq Dharejo said that joint teams of the police and the paramilitary rangers started targeted operations in the Agra Taj Colony, Crown Cinema Area and Kharadar to nab the gangsters. He was confident that the raids would bear fruit.
In Karachi, the law and order situation and incidents of street crime, including extortion, have spiraled out of control since the PPP started its second consecutive term in Sindh and locals now live in constant fear. Lyari is one of the worst affected areas, where the writ of the state has eroded and the rule of gangsters prevails.
People have been calling on the PPP-led government to launch operation against criminals in Lyari, but to no avail as regular clashes often end with bloody results.
Source: The News