Assailant still at large as fear grips Karachi’s womenfolk

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Spokesman Sindh Police refuted news reports that the assailant, who had wounded over dozen of women in knife attack, has been arrested.

“The attacker hasn’t been arrested yet,” spokesman told The Frontier Post while refuting earlier report quoting additional IG Mushtaq Mehar that police had been successful in an important arrest.

“We have arrested fifteen people since last day’s attacks but one of them is very important,” Mehar was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Five more girls were wounded in fresh knife attacks in Karachi late Wednesday, police said, which occurred over a span of three hours. The latest attack took place at Gulshan Chowrangi, in which a 12-year-old girl was assaulted with a knife.

Late on Wednesday, the attacker first targeted a woman in the city’s Gulshan-e-Jamal area, followed by another attack near Dalmia road, the police said. Within an hour of the two attacks, another woman — a student of Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology — was attacked in the metropolis’ NIPA Chowrangi vicinity.

Over the next couple of hours, the assailant stabbed a 13-year-old girl In Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. “My daughter was returning from the park when she was attacked,” the mother of the victim — a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Welfare Colony — told the police.

“She was treated for the wound on her back at the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre.” The attacker seems to have posed a challenge to the law enforcement authorities, who are yet to nab the assailant.

The first incident, in the chain of attacks, was reported on September 25. Since then, a total of 13 attacks have been reported.

The First Information Report (FIR) of an attack on Shaheen on September 26 was registered by the police today (Wednesday), after repeated requests from the victim’s family.

“The police and other law enforcement agencies are constantly engaged in efforts to apprehend the attacker,” Sindh Information minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said. “These attacks will not continue for long and we will arrest this man within a day’s time.”

The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the residents of the metropolis, forcing women to take extra precautions before venturing out.

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.

A female student of Karachi University (KU) said police officers have advised women to be careful while walking on the streets. “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. A KU student said that the attacker seems to be suffering from a psychological disorder. “Normal people do not commit such acts,” she said.

Another student noted that government should take notice of the issue and resolve it immediately.

“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.