KARACHI - Central leader of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), a nationalist group of Sindh, along with his colleague found dead with burnt bodies at Bahria Town of Naushero Feroze district on Friday morning, triggering the riots and protest demonstrations bringing the business activities to a standstill in majority of the cities and towns in mourning.

JSQM’s central leader Maqsood Qureshi who is younger brother of former chairman of the party late Bashir Khan Qureshi, and Salman Wadho, secretary general of the Latif Sangat found dead in mysterious circumstances at Bahria Town in a car, which was set ablaze by the assailants after killing the two political workers.

After listening to the news, JSQM’s Chairman Sunan Qureshi who was in the Karachi identified the number plate of the vehicle which was owned by his uncle Maqsood Qureshi.

This was the second such incident in recent past in which JSQM leaders and workers were killed and later their burnt bodies found in the province. The incident is similar to the one happened about two years ago in the Sanghar district in which JSQM’s central leader Rooplo Choliani and two other party workers were killed and later their bodies were torched.

According to vice chairman of JSQM Dr Niaz Kalani, the killing of the party’s central leader and younger brother of Shaheed Bashir Khan Qureshi was an attempt to stop the party from taking out a freedom march two days later on March 23 in Karachi.

He equated the killing of Maqsood Qureshi with that of JSQM’s former chairman Shaheed Bashir Khan Qureshi, who just two weeks after historical freedom march in his leadership on March 23, 2012 was killed with poison.

Niaz Kalani announced that party would take out the freedom march tomorrow (Sunday) at MA Jinnah Road in Karachi, where burnt bodies of the party’s central leaders would be brought and funeral prayers will be offered.

Meanwhile, after the news of the killing was aired on the electronic media, the protests and riots erupted in the province including Hyderabad, Larkana, Nausheroferoze, Badin, Shahdadkot, Khairpur, Dadu, Jamshoro and other cities and towns, where angry workers of the JSQM came out on the roads to express their anger. The business activities came to a standstill and public transport vanished from the roads in mourning.

The Sindh government termed the killing of the JSQM leaders a conspiracy against the Sindh and to create law and order situation in the province.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon talking to the media outside the Sindh Assembly on Friday said government would conduct a high level inquiry into the killing of the JSQM leaders, if needed the judicial inquiry could also be announced. He added that whoever was found involved in the killings, the government would arrest and expose the killers to the public.

Earlier, during the Sindh Assembly session, the PML-F’s Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, PML-N’s Haji Shafi Jamote, MQM’s Yousaf Shahwani and others condemned the killings and demanded of the government to investigate into incident.

Besides, the PPP Patron-In-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the killings of JSQM leader and a worker in Naushehro Feroz.

In a press statement, Bilawal said inhuman act of burning the bodies of JSQM leader was a heinous crime stressing that those behind the incident must not go scot-free.

He asked for thorough probe into the incident. He said PPP being a democratic party would never allow such acts under any circumstances.

Bilawal expressed sympathy to the family of JSQM leader and workers and asked the people to remain calm and assured his full support to the bereaved family.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a statement condemned the killings demanding government to arrest the assailants. He said political workers were being killed, which was a conspiracy against the country. Altaf directed the party to close all the sectors and unit offices in the province, while the flags of the party will remain at half-mast to mourn the deaths of JSQM leaders.

The Nationalist leaders including Qaumi Awami Tehreek chief Ayaz Latif Palijo, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party’s chief Dr Qadir Magsi and others have condemned the killing terming it a conspiracy against the Sindh province.

Meanwhile, tension gripped various parts of the provincial metropolis after the incident.

According to details, workers affiliated with Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz took to the roads and staged protest demonstrations against the killing of Maqsood Qurashi in Naushero Feroze. Enraged protesters blocked the National Highway and pelted stones on passing vehicles which resulted in suspension of traffic for several hours. The areas including Mosamyat, Safoora Goth, University Road and others Sindhi dominated places were also tense where commercial and non-commercial activities were suspend while protesters burnt tyres. Police claimed they had arrested some alleged miscreants from different areas.