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February 3, 2016

Who opened fire at PIA employees remains a mystery

Top Story

 
February 3, 2016

KARACHI: Mystery shrouds the death of two Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees who died of gunshot wounds at a hospital in Karachi when the law enforcement personnel allegedly resorted to the use of force to disperse the protesting workers.

Reports suggest that two employees were killed in a shooting incident as they were protesting against the privatisation of the national flag carrier. The Rangers spokesperson issued a statement saying that none of their soldiers opened fire during the protest outside the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. The Rangers said no personnel were present at the shooting site at the time of the incident, adding that those responsible will be nabbed soon.

The DIG East also stated that the policemen were only ordered to stop and negotiate with the protesters. He said policemen didn’t open fire on the protesters.Officials said Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial held a meeting with senior police officials and issued directives for a fair investigation into the incident. They said the Sindh Home Department would write a letter to the chief justice of the Sindh High Court for the formation of a judicial commission over the incident.

Some of the protesting employees accused the Rangers officials of opening fire. However, no conclusive evidence of anyone’s involvement in the incident has been received so far.Investigators said it was early to come to some conclusion as to who opened the fire at the protesters. They said they were trying to record statements of witnesses and would also check any available CCTV footage.

The angry PIA workers took to the streets a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for implementation of the Essential Services Act as the strike announced by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) entered the eighth day.

The law enforcement personnel resorted to baton charge and used rubber bullets, water cannons and teargas shells to stop the protesters outside the Jinnah Terminal. More than 10 PIA workers were reportedly injured who were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment while seven others were detained.

At least three other people, including a cameraman of a private TV channel, sustained injuries during the protest as security officials barred journalists and media personnel from covering the incident.