Karachi police on Wednesday registered a first information report (FIR) against a group accused of staging a violent protest over the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Orangi Town a day earlier. Dawn reported.
The girl, who had gone missing on Sunday, was found dead in a clump of bushes in Manghopir on Monday night.
Her death had sparked protests in the Manghopir area the next day, with her family demanding justice by placing her body on the road.
According to eyewitnesses, the protest had turned violent, following which police had resorted to firing and teargas shelling to disperse protesters.
In the ensuing chaos, a man had sustained bullet injuries — allegedly from a shot fired by the police — while several others were injured. The injured man had later expired at the hospital.
Police today filed an FIR against the protesters, some of whom are political workers, under charges of terrorism.
“The FIR against the protesters has been registered,” Karachi-West DIG Amir Farooqi confirmed without elaborating any further.
Orangi SP Abid Ali Baloch told Dawn that Pirabad police have also named the local leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf in the FIR, adding that six of the 150 protesters nominated have already been arrested.
PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman had on Tuesday claimed that the deceased protester was affiliated with his party, but SP Baloch contested that claim. He said that the man was instead from the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI).
Furthermore, police claimed that the deceased was not a part of the protest but was actually a local shopkeeper who was merely observing the protest when he was shot.
Meanwhile, an FIR was also registered against a trio of suspects in the slain minor’s case, whose rape and death had triggered the protest in the first place.
Police have arrested two of the three accused and sought their remand for interrogation. DIG Farooqi said that the accused’s DNA samples will soon be sent for examination.
Sial accuses PTI of ‘playing politics with the girl’s coffin’
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial visited Orangi Town today and met the relatives of the slain girl.
The home minister accused the PTI leadership of “playing politics with the girl’s coffin”.
Sial said two of the three suspects are already in police custody and so there was no “justification” for the protest.
He promised that action would also be taken against policemen if any of them are found guilty of heavy-handedness.
PTI wants FIR registered against police
Haleem Adil Shaikh, a local PTI leader, said that Tuesday’s violence was the outcome of “mishandling” on police’s part, clarifying that no PTI worker was involved in sparking riots or inciting violence.
Shaikh claimed that the protesters did not resort to firing and were unarmed — a fact he said the media personnel present at the time would corroborate.
“If the police officers had come out of their offices on time, such loss of human life could have been avoided,” he said, alleging that the police resorted to firing after the area’s SHO was hurt.
The PTI leader demanded for an FIR to be registered against the police over the protester’s death, warning that the failure to do so would force them to hold another protest on Thursday.