Four more killed as Lyari battle rages on
30 April, 2012
KARACHI: Gangsters stood their ground and killed four more people, including a policeman, and injured 19 on the third consecutive day of police operation in the area on Sunday.
The gangsters fired rockets, hurled grenades and unleashed a hail of bullets at a police post and journalists present at the Cheel Chowk. Police high-ups claimed to have regained control of 95 percent of Lyari. However, the area residents disputed the claim, saying police had not advanced an inch in the last three days because of heavy resistance. Sources said only Mullah Nisar and Tajdar alias Taju had taken positions against the police, while rest of the gangsters, including Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla, Jabber alias Jingo, Umer Katchi, were still on standby in the areas they dominate.
Officers of different police units have been called in to participate in the fight against the gangsters. The criminals fired rockets and hurled grenades when Crime Investigation Department SP Aslam Khan arrived at the Cheel Chowk.
The exchange of fire and attacks intensified following his arrival, resulting in the death of 25-year-old Asghar in Afshani Gali. Another youth, Kashif, 25, was shot dead in Nawalane in the limits of Kalakot Police Station. The victim's family took away his body without completion of legal formalities.
Around eight people, including two cameramen of private TV channels, six police personnel, were wounded by gunfire. One of the wounded, CID police constable Fayyaz Ahmed, succumbed to his injures. DSP Abdul Razzak and DSP Nawaz were also wounded during exchange of fire. Intermittent fighting continued in Kalakot area where gangsters fired five rockets and attacked a police post with grenades. In another attack two police personnel, and an 18-year-old girl were injured and were rushed to hospital.
Meanwhile, a dozen of families from Kalakot and Cheel Chowk migrated to other areas of the city while others living in different areas of Lyari are in trouble due to targeted police operation in the area as they face water shortage and power load shedding. The stranded people are also facing difficulty in purchasing essential goods.
Reports said that police provided safe passage to the feeing citizens who had been confined in their houses during gunfight. The residents of Lyari along with their relatives dwelling elsewhere on Sunday staged protest demonstration in different areas of the metropolis against police operation in their area.
The protests were held at Maripur Road, Albela Signal, Numaish, Gurumandir, Baloch Colony, Garden East, Nishtar Road, Gulbai Chowk and other areas. They angry protesters blocked the roads and chanted slogans against MNA Nabeel Gabol, SSP CID Chauhadry Aslam and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders. The protesters torched PPP flags as well as the pictures of former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza in Garden East area. Scores of women and children, who took part in the protest, said they had no electricity, water or edibles due to raging gunfight.
The protesters said that they wanted peace in Lyari and police were not sincere in flushing out the criminals, adding that in past, they let the gangsters control Lyari and if they wipe them out, some others will come to power. A massive traffic jam was witnessed on the MA Jinnah Road, Love Lane Bridge, Zoological Garden, Nishtar Road and other areas during the protests that lasted for more than two hours.
Sources pointed out that police had so far been confronting Mullah Nisar and Tajdar alias Taju only while the rest of the gangsters, including Chief Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla, Jabbar alias Jhengu and Umer Katchhi were still unmoved in their areas. Personnel from different police units have also been called to participate in the fight against gangsters.
The operation that has claimed more than 34 lives so far in the current month saw three gangsters, two PPP leaders and five policemen, being killed with the remaining casualties of the neutral citizens.
The first strike was the alleged extra-judicial killing of People's Amman Committee (PAC) member Sakhi Jan in an encounter. His killing flared up tension between the police and gangsters, which in its succeeding days claimed the lives of a number of PPP's local leaders, five police officers including SHO Civil Lines, Fawwad Khan and only three gangsters out of the total 650 present in the area.
Sources further said that an arrested gangster, Arshad Pappu is helping police with the whereabouts of gang war criminals in congested streets. They also said that police have the possession of only a few areas including Cheel Chowk, Nawalane, Ath Chowk and Gabol Park even where, the gangsters fired rockets, Awan grenades (invented by themselves), hand grenades, light machine guns and other automatic weapons.