Prominent educationist and the principal of Government Degree College, Qasimabad, Prof Sibte Jafar, was shot dead in a targeted attack in Liaquatabad on Monday.
Jafar, 50, had left the college on his motorcycle in the afternoon when two assailants on a motorcycle fired a volley of bullets at him near Arshee Chowk. The injured was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), where he succumbed to his injuries, police said. The victim suffered four 9mm bullets in the upper torso. The spent bullet casings have been sent for forensic tests.
The victim lived in Khamosh Colony, Gulbahar, and was also a renowned noha khwan of the Shia community, said Liaquatabad SDPO Wajahat Hussain.
The professor’s murder sparked a wave of protests first from the college students, who arrived at the hospital demanding the arrest of the killers, and then the leadership of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), which announced three-day mourning. Many of the students present at the ASH said the professor was a respectable man, who was always ready to help the needy students.
Eyewitnesses told the police that the two attackers were clad in shalwar-kameez and had small beards, SDPO Hussain said, terming the murder of Jafar a part of the ongoing spree of targeted killings.
Only a few days ago, Jafar was posted as the principal at Sirajudaulah College in FC Area, but the notification was later cancelled. The professor had been serving at the Qasimabad degree college for 27 years.
Jafar is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. His funeral will be held at the Amroha Ground in Ancholi after Zuhrain prayers. The murder case was registered at the Liaquatabad police station on the complaint of his son.
Liaquatabad SHO Ejaz Qaimkhani was suspended by DIG West Zafar Abbas Bukhari over the murder. Inspector Shaukat Ali was posted in his place.
“All his life, Jafar kept an old motorcycle but you needed to call him only once for help in any personal or academic matter and he would arrive at the appointed place,” recalled Prof Mirza Athar Hussain, a former president of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA).
“He was a devoted marsiya khwan and trained hundreds of students in the art,” he said, adding that the slain professor even established an institute to teach the art of writing and reciting marsiya [elegy]. About 5,000 students are enrolled at the institute.
Jafar’s students too remember him for his simplicity and love for Urdu poetry, especially in the elegy genre. He was well-versed in Urdu, Arabic and Persian. Jafar also authored several books and wrote thousands of marsiyas and nohas.
To protest the murder, professors and lecturers have announced boycotting academic activities on Tuesday across the province, said SPLA President Prof Iftikhar Azmi. All colleges will be closed on Tuesday (today).
Criticising the government, judiciary and law enforcers on their failure to protect Shia citizens, the MWM announced three days of mourning over the untimely deaths of Jafar and senior lawyer Zaheer Abbas Naqvi.
MWM Secretary General Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri said the people of Pakistan had lost a great teacher, poet and humanitarian in Jafar. “His brutal murder is tantamount to the murder of Urdu literature and marsiya.”
The Shia Ulema Council also condemned the murder of the professor.
Policeman shot dead
ASI Zakir Hussain, 35, was gunned down in Pak Jamoria Colony near PNS Society, Frere police said. ASI Hussain was attending a training course at the Saeedabad Police Training Centre, Frere SDPO Abdul Aleem Bhullo said.
Unidentified motorcyclists fired a volley of bullets at the policeman as he was on his way to his duty. He was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) where he died. He had suffered 14 bullet wounds.
Shop owners killed
In Liaquatabad, two unidentified motorcyclists gunned down a tyre puncture shop owner at his shop near Bandhani Colony Chowk.A supporter of a political party, 22-year-old Danish, was sleeping near his shop when he was shot dead at about 6am, SDPO Wajahat Hussain said.
Another puncture shop owner, 28-year-old Shahrukh Ali, was shot dead early morning at Ghas Mandi Chowk, Napier police said.The victim was busy in work when two armed motorcyclists shot him in the head, killing him on the spot, said Eidgah SDPO Chaudhry Pervez Iqbal. Ali lived near Cheel Chowk in Lyari.
Man gunned down
A fisheries worker, Mohammed Manan, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle as he left for work in the morning, Docks police said. The victim lived in Mohammadi Colony.
Two attackers on a motorcycle gunned down a dumper truck owner, Hayat Khan, outside his house in Pakhtunabad, Manghopir SHO Ashfaq Baloch said. The victim was shot bullets in the upper torso and died at the JPMC. Hayat Khan was from Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Army man shot dead
In Peerabad, assailants gunned down 30-year-old Hawaldar Imran Ali outside his house in Frontier Colony. The soldier hailed from Swabi and was posted in Hyderabad. He had come to Karachi to spend his holidays, SDPO Zahid Siddiqi said. “A suppressor-fitted .22 pistol was used in the attack.”
‘Drug peddler’ killed
Armed motorcyclists targeted an alleged drug peddler, Mohammed Nafees, 40, in Zaman Town. The victim was shot a single bullet in the head. Nafees lived in Bambah Goth, Korangi, SHO Asif Rauf said.
— Illustration by Faraz Maqbool