It may have been a consequence of some personal enmity, or an attempt to cause law and order situation in Karachi, or anything else, but the brazen broad daylight killing of a Sindh Bar Council official on Wednesday has raised concern about the state of law and order in the capital of Sindh province. The ease with which two armed men riding a motorcycle shot dead Irfan Ali Mehr, the bar council’s secretary, during the morning rush hour on a busy street in Gulistar-e-Jauhar neighbourhood speaks of the impunity that the criminals continue to enjoy in the metropolis.
The attackers did not take away the victim’s belongings — something which indicates that the attack was not a robbery incident. Also the 14-year-old nephew of the official, who was also travelling in the car at the time of the killing, remained unhurt. This apparently makes it a case of targeted killing. The police have also said that the killing was not a street crime. However, they are taking all angles into account in their investigation of the case, so it would be premature to say anything with certainty about the motive behind the attack.
The incident was bound to draw a serious reaction from lawyers. Heeding to a call from the SBC, lawyers boycotted court proceedings across the Sindh province on Thursday, besides taking out a procession from the City Courts to Karachi Press Club, demanding early arrest of the killers. The lawyers believe that the killing was meant to “spread fear and panic” among the lawyers fraternity. The same has also been mentioned in the FIR of the murder incident.
While Karachi has witnessed a relative calm in recent times — thanks to an operation against outlaws led by paramilitary Rangers — the fact is that the city is flammable given a diverse mix of its population that features various ethnic and sectarian communities. While the lawyers need to understand that it may have been a conspiracy to disrupt the city’s peace, the police must spring into some serious action to expose those behind the killing.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2021.
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