Protests against the murder of religious scholar Maulana Dr Adil Khan were held in several areas of Karachi on Friday.
The call for protests was issued by the Karachi Ulema Committee (KUC) yesterday. The committee also called for a ‘wheel-jam’ strike across the city, assuring that the demonstrations would be peaceful.
Several shops in different areas remained closed on Friday morning and public transport was scarce, as KUC had urged traders and transporters to close their businesses. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers officials was deployed in different areas of the city.
The protests were held at:
- Nagan Chowrangi
- Lasbella Chowk
- Banaras Chowk
- Dawood Chowrangi
- Lee Market
Shops and markets were reopened after Friday prayers. All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairperson Atiq Mir said it was a “peaceful strike” as the body had not received any reports of forceful closure of businesses. He added that traders “could not afford such strikes” as they had already suffered immense losses due to Covid-19 related restrictions.
Leader of the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi along with KUC’s acting head, Maulana Iqbalullah, Maulana Hazrat Wali, Qari Allah Dad, Mufti Hamadullah Madani, Maulana Rab Nawaz Hanafi, Maulana Mohammed Tayab among others expressed gratitude to traders and transporters who “closed their business to protest against lack of arrest of the killers of the cleric”.
The KUC members regretted the perceived lack of action from the government and demanded that law enforcement agencies pick up the pace of investigation of the case.
Farooqui, while speaking at a press conference on Thursday said that a peaceful protest was KUC’s right. He warned that if the killers were not arrested, they would be compelled to exercise other options.
Flanked by other KUC members, including Qari Allah Dad, Maulana Hamad Madani, Maulana Taj Hanafi, and Maulana Rab Nawaz Hanafi, he said that the assassination of Dr Adil and lack of arrest of the killers had put a question mark over performance of the government.
Dr Adil, who was the head of the Karachi’s Jamia Farooqia seminary and a notable scholar of the Sunni Deobandi sect, was murdered by unidentified assailants on October 10.
According to a police statement, pillion riders opened indiscriminate fire on Maulana Adil’s car as it stopped near a shopping centre in Shah Faisal Colony to purchase sweets.
Maulana Adil’s aide Umair, who had left the vehicle to purchase sweets from the shop, remained unhurt.
Dr Adil and his driver, Maqsood Ahmed, were both declared dead after being shifted to the hospital.
Investigators have launched a probe to ascertain the identity and exact motive for the killing.
Counter-terrorism Department (CTD) incharge Raja Umer Khattab had earlier told the media that three people were involved in the attack. Two of the culprits, Khattab said, got off the bike near the spot where Dr Adil’s car was parked, while the third suspect rode to the other side of the road.
The killers used 9mm pistols, he said, adding that the casings of spent shells had been sent to a forensic lab.
A day after the murder, Karachi police chief Additional Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon told Dawn: “We are looking into this case from different angles and it is too early to comment.”
Meanwhile, CTD Deputy IG Omar Shahid Hamid said all possible aspects of the incident were being investigated and nothing can be ruled out at this stage.