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October 17, 2020

Partial strike observed against police failure to arrest killers of Maulana Adil

Karachi

October 17, 2020

Although traders’ bodies in the city shut down most of the businesses during the first half of Friday, the strike call given by a group of religious scholars against the target killing of Jamia Farooqia principal Maulana Adil Khan received a lukewarm response.

Maulana Adil and his driver were killed in an armed attack in Shah Faisal Colony on October 10. The Karachi Ulema Committee (KUC), a group of religious scholars, had called for a 'wheel-jam' strike and protest demonstrations across the city to show anger at the government's failure to arrest the killer and provide security to religious scholars.

A partial strike was observed in the city on Friday with businesses in many areas remaining operational. On Friday morning, a number of market associations voluntarily shut down their businesses in the city’s various areas to express solidarity with the religious scholars’ protest. However, most of the commercial hubs remained open and transport continued normally.

However, after consultations with the KUC leaders, the market associations also opened their businesses fully after the Friday prayers. Hakeem Shah, the convener of All Karachi Traders Alliance, said that on the appeal of the KUC to the traders and transporters to close their businesses, most of the shops and businesses were shut down voluntarily during Friday’s

first half.

“But after a meeting of the traders alliance’s representatives with KUC leaders, including Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, businesses were opened after Friday prayers,” said Shah, who had led the traders’ delegation in the meeting.

Police and Rangers had also been deployed in different areas of the city to prevent any untoward incident. Meanwhile, after the Friday prayers, KUC leaders organised protest demonstrations in various areas, including Nagan Chowrangi, Lasbela Chowk, Banaras Chowk, Dawood Chowrangi, Qayyumabad and Lea Market.

Addressing the protests, KUC leaders, including Maulana Farooqi, Qari Allah Dad, Maulana Iqbalullah, and Mufti Hamadullah Madani, thanked Karachi residents, particularly the traders, for their support for the strike.

They said the peaceful strike showed that religious scholars did not believe in violence but it should not be considered their weakness. They added that the assassination of Maulana Adil and the failure to arrest the killers had put a question mark over the performance of the government and law enforcement agencies.

“In Karachi, dozens of religious scholars have been killed in the past two decades, but unfortunately, killers in not a single case have been arrested,” said Farooqi, who also survived several assassination attempts in the past.

He also warned that if the killers were not arrested, they would be compelled to exercise other options of protests. The KUC leaders also criticised the Sindh government for withdrawing security from prominent religious scholars who, they said, had been facing threats.