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Pakistan: Infant girl shot dead in celebratory firing on New Year's Eve in Karachi, 32 injured

At least 75 suspects were arrested across Karachi as a complete ban on carrying arms, aerial firing and use of fireworks was banned in the city for two days. The girl suffered bullet wounds to her chest and succumbed to her injuries on Monday.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Karachi Published on: January 02, 2024 13:47 IST
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Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

An infant girl was shot dead and 32 people were injured during celebratory aerial firing on New Year's Eve in Karachi, according to police and health officials on Monday. At least 75 suspects were arrested and booked across Karachi as a complete ban on carrying arms, aerial firing and use of fireworks was banned in the city for two days.

Police surgeon Summaiya Syed told Dawn that 33 people, including a three-year-old girl, with bullet injuries were brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital Karachi and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The girl was initially critical but succumbed to bullet wounds in the chest during treatment.

Korangi police Station House Officer (SHO) Amin Solangi said the girl was asleep in a makeshift bed under a charpoy her parents were sleeping on when a bullet fired from an unknown direction hit her on the head. Solangi appeared surprised as to how the bullet travelled and killed her. 

At least 75 people arrested

Meanwhile, South Deputy Inspector General of Police Syed Asad Raza said that five persons were injured from aerial firing in his district and 16 people were arrested and booked for attempted murder, disobedience to order and also under the Arms Act. Korangi SSP Hasan Sardar Niazi said that nine suspects were arrested from different parts of the district and arms were seized from their custody.

East Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Syed Irfan Bahadur said that 20 suspects involved in aerial firing were arrested from different parts of the district and cases were registered against them over attempted murder and Section 23(i)a of the Sindh Arms Act.

Several weapons were recovered from the suspects arrested from across Karachi. In a statement, the Central police spokesperson said that a total of 30 suspects were apprehended over aerial firing in the district and 32 cases registered against them under the relevant applicable laws.

Pakistan announced ban on New Year celebrations

In late December, Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar announced that all New Year celebrations would be banned across the country in an expression of solidarity with Palestinians facing the brunt of Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip in the 11-week-long conflict since October 7.

Pakistan has repeatedly condemned Israeli aggression in Gaza, which left 21,000 Palestinians dead and the majority of the 2.3 million population displaced. "Pakistani nation is in a sad state [...] so keeping in mind the situation, the Government of Pakistan has decided to ban all celebrations related to New Year’s," said caretaker PM Kakar in a televised address.

“I appeal to all Pakistanis: show solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians and observe simplicity with the dawn of the new year,” Kakar said, noting that the war situation was catastrophic. He also said that Pakistan has sent two consignments of humanitarian aid to Gaza and will send a third tranche of aid while consulting with Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts for the same.

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