KARACHI: A central leader of the Kutchhi Rabita Committee, his private guard and a police official were shot dead on Sunday night while they were watching the Pakistan-India cricket match in his office set up in an under-construction building in Agra Taj Colony, police said.
The shooting prompted a Pakistan People’s Party member of the National Assembly to warn the authorities to arrest the killers within three days or else he would resign from the assembly.
A senior police officer requesting anonymity told Dawn that the killing appeared to be part of tit-for-tat skirmishes between two rival groups in Lyari.
Following the killing, the electronic media quoted PPP lawmaker Nabeel Gabol as saying that he had requested the prime minister to order immediate arrest of killers.
KRC leader Abdul Rasheed Kutchhi, a builder, was watching a cricket match on TV along with other people at the site office of an under-construction building on Ghausia Road near the naval flats when eight to nine armed men arrived there and opened fire on them, said an official at the Kalri police station.
He said the attackers had arrived on motorbikes. The firing left Rasheed Kutchhi and his guard, Zubair Kutchhi, dead and four others wounded. The killers escaped after carrying out the attack, he added.
Police shifted the bodies and the wounded persons, including ASI Mohammad Khalil, to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where he died during treatment. The other wounded men, Ibrahim, Tahir and Babar, were admitted to the CHK. Kalri SHO Safdar Mashwani said Khalil was a resident of Agra Taj Colony. He was posted in the Civil Lines police station, added the officer.
A large number of people, meanwhile, gathered at the hospital and raised slogans against their rival group.
Following the incident, intermittent firing was heard in different parts of Lyari, particularly Agra Taj Colony, causing suspension of commercial activities.
Rangers and police were deployed in the area.
Later, scores of KRC workers and relatives of the victims along with their bodies converged on the main Mauripur Road to stage a protest demonstration against the killing. As they blocked traffic on the thoroughfare for some time, police rushed to the scene and held talks with the protesters.
Following the killings, several news channels quoted Nabeel Gabol, a member of the national assembly from Lyari, as saying that he had approached Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on the matter. He was also quoted as saying that if the suspects were not arrested within three days, he would resign from his National Assembly seat.