Emeute à Karachi février 2009

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Riots after Shia youth shot dead in Karachi

22 février 2009

Rioters torch at least five vehicles, three shops, one printing press, a beauty parlour and a house

By Faraz Khan

KARACHI: Riots broke out in the city in reaction to the killing of a youth belonging to the Shia community.

Law enforcers were unable to control the law and order situation as the miscreants put at least five vehicles, three shops, one printing press, one beauty parlor and a house on fire. The miscreants also resorted to aerial firing in different localities of the city that suspended routine and commercial life and resulted in a massive traffic jam. According to reports, the areas where the riots broke out include Shah Faisal Colony, Ancholi, Al-Noor Society, Jaffer Tayyar, Malir and Liaquatabad. Miscreants burned three more vehicles in various parts of the city including Nazimabad, Rizvia Society and Liaquatabad.

It is pertinent to mention here that a youth named Haseeb Abbasi was shot dead while two others were wounded when a clash erupted over putting up flags and wall chalking between rival religious organisations at night on Friday within the jurisdiction of Shah Police Station.

On Saturday, the relatives of the deceased put his body on Sharah-e-Faisal and protested over his murder while demanding the arrest of the culprits behind the incident.

An FIR No 56/09 was registered on the behalf of the deceased’s brother Anis Abbas against three people affiliated with the Sunni Tehreek named Emran Qadri, Ehtisham and Shafi.

Shah Faisal DSP Raza Hussain Shah told Daily Times that after the burial, the angry crowd started riots in the area. The mob blocked Sharah-e-Faisal and main Sharah-e-Pakistan for several hours by burning tyres on the road and pelting stones at passing vehicles. The miscreants also set three shops ablaze in Shah Faisal Colony, one beauty parlor, a vehicle parked inside the house and a printing press, three vehicles in different areas of Gulberg Town including Ancholi and Al-Noor and a vehicle in Jaffer Tayyar Society in Malir.

It is important to mention here that the house that was set ablaze and one out of the three shops were owned by Emran who was nominated in the FIR.

Declaring it to be sectarian violence, DSP Shah said that on Friday night, a clash erupted between the two organisations. However on Saturday, the ST men were only involved in the firing incident outside the Imambargah in which its Moizzin, his son and a passerby were wounded. There were some reports that the miscreants also tried to damage the Chishti Masjid in Shah Faisal however the DSP did not confirm them.

However, Gulberg DSP Iftikhar Lodhi confirmed the riots in the area while adding that three vehicles were set on fire within his jurisdiction. “We have arrested six miscreants red-handed and raids are being conducted for the arrests of more,” said Lodhi.

Fire Brigade Department Spokesman Abdul Wahid, while confirming the fact that five vehicles, three shops, one printing press, one beauty parlor and a house were set on fire, added that fire brigades were sent to extinguish the flames.

ST spokesman, condemning the incident, demanded legal action against the miscreants behind the incident. “It is a conspiracy against both the religious organisations,” the spokesman said. “Extremist of a religious organisation erased the wall-chalking done by another religious party which resulted in peace in the city deteriorating.”

All Pakistan Shia Action Committee (APSAC) Chief Allama Mirza Yousuf Hussain told Daily Times that the police high ups said that the culprits will be arrested soon. This statement finally calmed the people and also ended the riots. He further said that after ending the protest, the Shia community received information regarding the target shooting of the Moizzin of the Imambargah Nasiran in Shah Faisal Colony No 5 and they immediately retaliated, starting the riots with a rejuvenated spirit. “All the culprits should be arrested immediately otherwise countrywide protests will be held,” he warned the government.

Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, while taking serious notice of the riots, ordered police high officials to ensure that peace in the city is restored.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 22 février 2009.

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