KARACHI – The strike against targeted killings of Ulema brought Karachi to a standstill on Friday as businesses remained closed while three people were killed in violence.

The strike call was given by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, after the government failed to apprehend the culprits who shot dead Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri of Jamia Uloom Islamia, Binoria Town in a targeted attack on January 31.

Jamaat-e-Islami and other political and religious parties also against the killing of religious scholars in the City.

To make strike successful, Shia Ulema Council and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan also supported the strike against the target killing. Trade unions across the City supported the strike and resumed their activities at 4pm.

There were number of arson incidents reported in various localities of the City to make the strike successful. Aerial and indiscriminate firing claimed two lives. One fruit vendor was shot dead near Taj Complex while an activist of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan was shot dead near Nagan Chowrangi.

Protest was continued in the City since morning while massive protests were seen after the Friday prayer in different areas. People came on the roads and staged protest.

Miscreants set four vehicles including two vans packed with schoolchildren on fire in Mobin Town and Landhi area respectively.

Police said that schoolchildren were safely rescued before torching of the vans while miscreants pelted with stones on the passing vehicles in various localities of the City and burnt tyres.

Witnesses said that students of various seminaries were took to the roads closed to the seminary carrying battens and erected barricades to suspend the flow of traffic while set on fire the tries.

Students of seminary were gathered at MA Jinnah Road where they pelted stone on passing vehicles and beaten up the passengers on the way to their workplace. Miscreants resorted to firing, burnt tires and blocked the traffic in Sohrab Goth area, resultantly Superhighway was blocked for several hours.

Similar situation was seen in different other areas including Nipa Chowrangi, Patel Para, Quaidabad, Orangi Town, Banaras, Sultanabad, Nagan Chowrangi and other areas where seminary students took to the streets and got the shops and markets closed forcibly.

Major City markets including Sadder, Tariq Road, Hydri Market, Water Pump Market, Iqbal Market, Liaquat Market partially supported the strike while citizens avoided shopping. 

Transporters, traders and private school associations have supported the strike. All the commercial and non-commercial activities halted. Presence at government and private offices were also remained thin. 

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Rabita Committee condemns the target killing of the clerics of Jammia Banoria.

It condemned the target killing of the religious clerics, seminary student, political workers of different political parties and other innocent citizens in metropolis. It said that killing of religious scholars and innocent people was an evil conspiracy to destroy peace and order in Karachi. The committee extended sympathies to the grieving relatives.

The committee demanded the federal and provincial government to take serious action against the terrorists to bring peace in the City.