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May 23, 2019

Petty issue leaves two dead, three injured in Sabzi Mandi clash

Karachi

May 23, 2019

Two men were killed and three others wounded in a clash between two groups in the New Sabzi Mandi area on the Super Highway on Wednesday. Police claimed to have arrested two people, one of whom is a key suspect.

Five injured people were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Saifur Rehman, 29, succumbed to his wounds. Others who were hurt in the clash were identified as Ishaq, 17, Abdul Aziz, 22, Ismail, 28, and Shaukat, 32. Aziz later died at the Civil Hospital Karachi.

Police said the gates of the vegetable market were closed because of the clash, which not only suspended all business activities but also caused a massive traffic jam at the central gates. District Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur said the police arrested two suspects, identified as brothers Bismillah Khan and Momin Khan, as well as confiscated the weapons found on them.

Following the clash, a large number of shopkeepers blocked the Super Highway. During their protest, they pelted passing vehicles with stones and caused a traffic mess on both tracks of the highway.

They also littered both tracks with burning tyres. A long queue of vehicles stuck on the Super Highway was witnessed for at least an hour due to the protest. The protesters warned that they would continue demonstrating until justice was served.

They claimed that the key suspect, Bismillah Khan, had randomly fired gunshots in the presence of the police, who did not even attempt to stop him.

The area resembled a battleground, as the protesters hurled stones at the police officials who sought to negotiate with them. Later, a heavy contingent of police and Rangers managed to reach the site of the protest and held peaceful negotiations with the demonstrators.

After at least an hour of protesting, the demonstrators left the Super Highway and gathered outside the Sabzi Mandi police post. Later, an armoured personnel carrier (APC) was called in to take away the arrested suspects.

A large number of protesters, however, surrounded the vehicle. Police officials were forced to baton charge, but the demonstrators did not disperse and instead attacked the APC and also tried to vandalise a police van. More officials were called in to handle the situation.

SSP Bahadur said that firing between two groups was under way when the police arrived on the scene. He said efforts were being made to arrest more suspects. He claimed that some miscreants among the protesters had incited the demonstrators to take the law into their own hands.

Explaining the reason behind the clash, police said someone had parked their car outside a shop, adding that the shopkeeper had asked the owner to move the car and it resulted in a fight, which was then joined in by others. Police registered a case against the arrested brothers and around half a dozen other suspects.

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