Violence spreads on eve of strike against KESC


At least five persons were reportedly injured and two vehicles set ablaze by unidentified armed men, who forced shopkeepers to close down business activities in different areas of the city on Thursday night.
The spike in violent incidents was observed on the eve of the strike call given by the All Parties Conference (APC) for Friday (today) against the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) for causing unrelenting power outages and not accepting its workers’ demands.
As the sun set, unidentified miscreants came out on the roads to close down shops and markets in various areas of the city to force a complete shutter down on Friday, while sporadic incidents of aerial firing were also reported from different parts of the city.
Sindhi- and Pakhtun-majority areas wore a deserted look by Thursday evening in anticipation of violence, as announcements were made through loudspeakers asking shopkeepers to pull down their shutters or they would be ‘punished’.
Following warnings from unidentified armed men, areas in Steel Town, Bin Qasim Town, Shah Latif Town, Khokharapar, Malir City, Gadap Town, Sohrab Goth, Orangi Town, Bhittaiabad, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Keamari and Lyari were also closed.
A Hino bus was torched near the Jahangir Park in Saddar and a car was set on fire in the Old Sabzi Mandi area.
Three persons suffered bullet injuries when unidentified attackers resorted to indiscriminate firing on a passenger bus in Banaras, causing the vehicular traffic to come to a halt. The victims were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while a heavy contingent of police reached the spot and restored traffic.
Similarly, two persons were also injured in Bahadurabad as armed persons also forced the shop owners in the area to pull down shutters.
Unidentified gunmen also opened fire at the Mashriq Centre, spreading panic among the shopkeepers and the market was hurriedly closed down.
The Ferozabad police, meanwhile, claimed arresting two armed persons who were forcibly closing down shops and markets in the area.
On May 31, the APC, comprising Awami National Party, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad, Balochistan National Party and Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto among other parties, had unanimously called for a strike in Karachi on June 3.
Around 10 unidentified armed persons attacked Karachi Electric Supply Company’s (KESC) Clifton Grid Station late Thursday night, and forcibly got 27 feeders shut down to disrupt power supply across Clifton and Defence, claimed a statement from the power utility.
As a result of this attack, electricity supply to Bilawal House, Ziauddin Hospital, Shireen Jinnah Colony and many parts of Clifton and DHA was immediately disconnected.
Some unidentified armed persons also opened fire at KESC’s deputy general manager of Distributions in Moosa Lane area, who was supervising fault repairs of two feeders in Nauabad and Moosa Lane. The officer escaped unhurt but the his car was damaged.
The miscreants also set on fire PECHS-B sub-station at Khalid Bin Waleed Road, near Noorani Kabab House affecting power supply to the linked areas. A fire brigade team doused the flames after a few hours of struggle. but most equipment in the sub-station was badly damaged.
In Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 19, the unidentified armed men took away maintenance vehicle No. JY-8220 along with the complaint crew. The crew was insulted and manhandled by the unidentified persons but later released. with threats to stop attending public complaints. The miscreants damaged the vehicle and stole the wireless set before escaping the scene.