Seminary teacher gunned down, students take to the streets

Monday, December 3rd, 2012 8:30:42 by

KARACHI: The streets of Gulshan-e-Iqbal looked like a battlefield as masked seminary students protested the killing of their teacher on Monday. 

A senior teacher of the Jamia Arabia Ahsanul Uloom seminary, Maulana Mohammad Ismail, was on his way to the seminary at around 8 am when four motorcyclists intercepted his car on Abul Hassan Isphahani Road, and shot him multiple times. The teacher died on the spot.

“They [the culprits] were experts, whoever they were,” said a worker at a nearby petrol pump. “They did what they wanted to do and then disappeared.” He said that the teacher died on the spot but if the law enforcement agencies were proactive, they could have arrested the culprits. SHO Azhar Ali Iqbal speculated that the attack may have connections to the ongoing spate of sectarian killings.

As news of the assassination spread, angry students of the seminary took to the streets, holding sticks and shouting slogans in protest. Over 2,000 students gathered at Maskan Chowrangi, Gulshan Chowrangi, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Jauhar Morr, Rashid Minhas Road, Abul Hassan Isphahani Road, University Road, Old Sabzi Mandi, Hassan Square and Sohrab Goth, blocking traffic and pelting stones at passersby. They set fire to at least five vehicles, including an ambulance, tyres and pieces of furniture.

The protesters also attacked a wine shop near Moti Mahal and broke liquor bottles on the road. All other shops and business in the area closed down soon after. In order to avoid backlash by other seminaries in the city, the policemen advised commuters to take alternate routes, instead of asking the students to end their protest. A Rangers van was also stationed at a nearby spot but they failed to make any arrests.

To Avoid

Earlier in October, seven students of the same seminary were shot dead in a targeted attack. “If we had protested as violently after that attack, maybe our teacher would have been alive today,” a protester told The Express Tribune. “We didn’t say anything earlier because seminary students are labeled ‘Taliban agents’ and ‘terrorists’, but the attack today has forced us to take to the streets.”

Meanwhile, DSP Nasir Lodhi said the police have detained over a dozen suspects and cases will soon be registered. Sindh Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Leghari asked the additional inspector general to file a report on the killing and collect forensic evidence from the crime scene.

Funeral prayers

Maulana Ismail’s funeral prayers were offered at his seminary in the afternoon. The seminary’s founder, Shaikhul Hadith-Wa-Tafseer Maulana Mufti Muhammad Zar Wali Khan offered the prayers, which were attended by a large number of religious scholars, leaders and seminary students. His body was later sent to his hometown in Pasheen, Quetta for burial.

Maulana Ismail, survived by four children, was associated with seminary since 1988. He had expertise in tafseer and Arabic.

With Additional input from APP

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2012

Quetta News Sources -2

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