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Friday Oct 06 2017

Karachi knife attacker suspected to be involved in similar Punjab attacks: CM Sindh

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday claimed that the knife attack suspect has been identified and is suspected to be the same person who was behind similar attacks in Punjab’s Chichawatni area.

Similar attacks started taking place in Chichawatni in 2013, he said. The attacks went on for three years, until 2016 during, during which 50 women were injured, Sindh CM added.  

However, even after injuring 15 women in over 11 days the attacker has remained at large. 

The police claimed to have been taking measures to catch the accused through geo-fencing and probing the suspects who have been arrested so far.

On the other hand, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has protested the series of similar attacks against women and girls. The party members registered their protest in the National Assembly by walking out of the hall.

But the incidents have left citizens with a question over their safety and the law-enforcement agencies are perturbed whether the attacks are being carried out by an individual or a group.

While the police have barely moved closer to arresting the accused, other authorities have also not taken useful measures. 

In an attempt to protect those within their precinct, the administration of University of Karachi — situated in the area in question — has banned motorcyclists from wearing a helmet. This would be a hassle for students riding into the university as it is mandatory for motorcyclists to wear a helmet elsewhere in the city.

Some similarities have also been noticed in all the incidents: the attacker reportedly attacks with his left hand using a sharp object, wears a helmet and rides a red motorcycle.

'Thin man, aged 20-29'

Karachi Police released pictures — screengrabs from the CCTV footage — of the suspect Saturday night, wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorbike moments before attacking one of the victims.

"The suspect appears to be a thin man, aged 20-29," DIG East Sultan Khawaja said, adding that "he appears to be 5 feet, 7-9 inches tall" and usually rides a red motorcycle.

Widespread fear, panic in Gulistan-e-Johar

The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the area's residents, forcing women to take extra precautions before going outside.

Police officers have advised women to be careful while walking on the streets, said a female student of Karachi University (KU) earlier.

“We have been directed to not leave our houses after Maghrib prayers,” explained another student.

Female students also said that they are taking all possible precautions, including avoiding walking alone at night and not staying out for too long.


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