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October 5, 2017

Five more female citizens fall victim to knife attacks


October 5, 2017

The knife attacks that have been terrorising girls and women since last Monday caused injuries to five more female citizens on Wednesday night.

Police still believe one man is behind all the attacks. Gulshan-e-Iqbal SP Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto said the first attack was carried our near the Millennium Mall. “The man then attacked another girl near the Lasania Restaurant. He injured the third girl at Nipa Chowrangi and the fourth in Welfare Society, Gulshan-e-Iqbal.”

Sharea Faisal DSP Shaukat Ali said that when the helmeted suspect attacked the first girl near the Millennium Mall, the survivor had tried to catch him. “The attacker slashed her elbow to get away.”

SP Bhutto said a student of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology was attacked at Nipa Chowrangi on her way back home. Her father criticised the police for failing to arrest the attacker. He asked if parents should stop their daughters from getting an education.

SP Bhutto said that in the fourth incident the girl was riding pillion with her uncle when the attacker slashed her back near Welfare Society.  

‘Is the attacker invisible?’

Taking notice of the increasing knife attacks, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed provincial police chief IGP AD Khowaja to immediately bring the culprit to book. “Is the attacker invisible?” CM Shah questioned. “Such attacks can only be seen in films, not in real life.”

The chief executive said that some elements were trying to create chaos in the city. He asked Khowaja why the police had failed to find the attacker.

He ordered forming a special team to arrest the culprit. He also directed the police to get the survivors’ help for making the suspect’s sketch. The police chief was ordered to increase patrolling in the affected areas, improve their intelligence network and deploy plainclothesmen.  

‘Are terrorists involved?’

The Ansarul Sharia Pakistan (ASP) may be responsible for the recent knife attacks on female citizens in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, an official of the country’s top security agency had revealed to The News a day earlier.

“The eight-member ASP is following in the footsteps of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in order to divert the focus of the investigators cracking down on them.”

However, East Range DIGP Sultan Ali Khawaja said the police did not suspect the involvement of terrorists in the knife attacks, adding that according to police interviews, all the survivors were “decently attired” at the time of the attacks.

“On September 30 the police released a picture of a suspect attacking a woman near Jauhar Chowrangi, but she was ‘properly dressed’ at that time. We have also released the video of another attack in Block-12.”

He argued that terrorists usually targeted women for wearing what they saw as “indecent”, and that the attacker was subjecting his targets to light injuries. “Police are giving priority to the case because of the public’s emotional association with it.”

Though the police have failed to arrest the attacker, they have started detaining suspects who bear a resemblance to him. The man caught on the CCTV footage seemed to be an ectomorph (a thin person).

Gulshan-e-Iqbal SP Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto said the police had released pictures of the attacker, and that he had directed the local law enforcers to detain anyone who looked like him. “So far more than a dozen have been detained, and released after interrogation.”

SP Bhutto said the police had asked the maintenance committees of the apartment buildings in the affected localities to keep an eye out for the suspect.

Last week, Chief Minister’s Adviser on Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz had directed District East SSP Dr Samiullah Soomro to ensure the women’s security and immediate arrest of the culprits. “Our police, Rangers and other agencies have rendered matchless sacrifices to restore peace in the city, and no one will be allowed to disrupt it.”

Terming the attacks an attempt to create panic, Shamim said the government had taken important steps for the citizens’ security. She appealed to the survivors to cooperate with the police to help arrest the culprits.

SSP Soomro told the CM’s adviser that police patrolling had increased in the locality, assuring her that the culprits would be apprehended soon in the light of their investigation.

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