KARACHI: Businesses remained closed in Rizvia Society and thin traffic was witnessed on main Nazimabad Road on Tuesday when a large number of people attended the funeral prayers of a young man who was killed in an alleged exchange of fire between Rangers and unidentified armed men.
Nasir Ali and Shahzeb Abbas were returning home after attending the burial of a victim of targeted killing when they received gunshot wounds, which proved fatal, near Daakkhana Chowk of Liaquatabad on Monday.
Before and after the prayers, a large number of protesters, including women and children, emerged on the main Nazimabad Road and chanted slogans against targeted killings. They also voiced their anger against police and Rangers.
Business activities on the main road from Lasbela Chowk to Nazimabad Petrol Pump remained suspended and a sense of fear kept residents indoors which further deepened when at least two stalls of roadside vendors, furniture and tyres were set on fire.
Police authorities said although the protest caused a brief traffic gridlock around the spot, it largely remained peaceful. “A heavy contingent of police, backed by Rangers personnel, was deployed for security purpose. The traffic which was suspended hardly for an hour resumed after the funeral prayers,” said SP Naveed Khawaja of Liaquatabad Town.
While the body of Shahzeb Abbas was flown to Lahore for burial in his hometown on Tuesday morning, a large number of people attended the funeral prayers of Nasir Ali at Imambargah Shah-i-Karbala in Rizvia Society.
Addressing the participants, Jafria Alliance Pakistan and Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen representatives condemned the targeted killings across the city and termed the attackers “agents of external forces” who wanted to create sectarian unrest in the country.
The religious scholars also demanded action against the Rangers who had opened fire on the people returning from the burial.
“For the last eight months people belonging to a particular school of thought are being targeted but we have never witnessed any action from Rangers to reach those who are involved in this bloodshed,” said Maulana Hasan Zafar Naqvi of the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen.
He said: “The federal interior minister should take notice of Monday’s brutal action of Rangers and order an independent inquiry into the incident.”
The religious leaders called for maintaining sectarian harmony and urged the authorities concerned to arrest those who wanted to disturb peace of the city through sectarian attacks.