New Year Casualties

4 killed, over 30 hurt on New Year’s Eve

* Police arrest more than 300


By Jamil Khan | KARACHI


DESPITE tall claims made by law enforcement agencies regarding security arrangements on the eve of New Year, youngsters from all over the city did what they could do to welcome 2009.

As many as four people died, while over 30 were injured in aerial firing. Most of the celebrations took place on Seaview where youngsters from every nook and corner of the city had gathered. Even though the police sealed many entrances to the beach and put empty containers to block roads, thousands of people belonging to every age group reached Seaview, most of them ridng motorcycles and openly violating the pillion-riding ban.

The Sindh Police Department had deployed a large number of officers in most areas of the city but many types of arms, as well as fireworks, were set off to welcome the New Year, showing the negligence of the deployed police force and the total lack of respect of laws on behalf of the people. Most youngsters were carrying portable stereos and many four-wheelers were seen patrolling the streets, with their stereos at full blast, in blatant disregard for Muharram and the laws imposed by the government.

Some of the groups belonging to different parts of Lyari were seen dancing on songs compiled in Sindhi and Balochi folk tunes, especially the ones widely used by Pakistan People’s Party supporters. Although, the government had banned pillion riding and the display of arms any type, people ignored both the bans. As soon as the clocks struck 12 midnight, firing started throughout the city, especially in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir, Landhi, Liaqutabad, Mehmoodabad, Nazimabad, Shah Faisal, Saddar, Lea Market, and Lyari, besides other localities where people had arranged small get-togethers to celebrate New Year’s eve.

The aerial firing took four lives, including Maaz, 7, in Hassan Square, Ijaz, 34 of C-Area in Sharifabad, Mehroz Khan, 30, of Ranchor Line and Nadeem, 30, Usanabad, Garden Area.

The more than 30 people injured included three women who sustained bullet injuries due to aerial firing. Of the injured, about 12 were brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, 10 were admitted to Civil Hospital, Karachi and eight to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JMPC), while others were taken to private hospitals and clinics.

In many areas, the residents used various type of firecrackers imported from China, which they had bought a few days before the New Year to avoid the ban. According to Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Karachi Wasim Ahmed, the police arrested more than 300 people who were involved in aerial firing, while as many as 200 were arrested for violation of the pillion-riding ban. Furthermore, around 40 people were arrested for carrying unlicensed arms in different parts of the city.

– Published in Daily Times | Jan 02, 2009

~ by jamilkhan on January 2, 2009.

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