Pakistan: Young lawyer shot dead in ‘sectarian’ attack

4th May 2013

KARACHI, (Dawn): A young lawyer was shot dead and his advocate father was wounded in what police described as an attack apparently on sectarian grounds on Friday.

The police said that gunmen targeted Shakeel Ahmed Jan Bangash, 30, and his father Ali Ahmed Jan, 55, while they were heading to Kharadar from their home in Gulbai in their car to offer Friday prayers.

It was not clear as to where the assailants intercepted and sprayed their vehicles with bullets. However, young Bangash kept driving the car despite being critically wounded and hit it to a parked police mobile van on the ICI bridge, where the police were busy in snap checking.

The vehicle came to a halt after hitting the police van, resulting in injuries to policeman Ghulam Shabbir.

“Initially, the policemen were terrified when the vehicle hit the mobile van,” said a duty officer at the Baghdadi police station. “Subsequently, the policemen shifted the wounded to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. Shakeel died while being taken to hospital while his father was admitted for treatment. However, his condition is stated to be critical.”

He said that it appeared that the victims, clad in shalwar kameez and not in the usual attire for lawyers, were on their way to offer Friday prayers at a mosque in Kharadar as per their routine.

Quoting some lawyers who gathered at the JPMC, the police said both victims enjoyed good reputation among the legal fraternity and they mainly dealt with civil cases.

They originally hailed from Kurram Agency.

The police said that it appeared that the motive for the attack was sectarian.

Meanwhile, the body of Shakeel Bangash was taken to the Rizvia Imambargah for funeral prayers.

Court boycott

The legal proceedings remained partly suspended on Friday at subordinate judiciary in the city as lawyers observed a boycott of courts in protest against the killing of their colleague.

The Karachi and the Malir bar associations gave the strike call shortly after an attack on the two lawyers that left one of them dead and other wounded around Friday noon.

The president of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA), Naeem Qureshi, said that the vehicle of Advocate Shakil Jan Bangash, a member of the KBA, and his father Ali Ahmed Jan Bangash, a senior lawyer, came under a gun attack near the ICI Bridge around 11.30am. The young lawyer succumbed to his injuries shortly after the incident while his father was in critical condition at hospital, he added.

The undertrial prisoners were brought on Friday morning and produced in courts for hearing of their cases. However, they were sent back to prisons shortly after the incident because of the lawyers’ boycott.

The legal work at the special courts in the city also remained partly disturbed as most lawyers stayed away from courts after the killing of their colleague.

Meanwhile, on the call of the Sindh Bar Council (SBC), the legal fraternity would observe a province-wide boycott of courts on Saturday.

A senior member of the SBC said that the call for May 4 boycott was given a few days ago against the alleged misuse of judicial funds, proposed parking lot at the Sindh High Court, non-implementation of a proposed judicial complex for subordinate judiciary and growing incidents of targeted killing of lawyers.



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