KARACHI: The commercial activities in Gulistan-e-Johar have dreadfully affected over past two weeks as a sense of fear persistently gripped residents in the neighborhood after the mysterious knifeman still believes to be at large.
As many as 15 women were stabbed in a span of two weeks in Gulshan Town of the city. Most of these victims came under attacks in Gulistan-e-Johar and adjacent areas.
The Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are still clueless about the motive behind these attacks and the prime suspect.
So far, the authorities’ claims of making key arrests had fallen flat after back-to-back knife assaults were reported in the neighborhood.
The terror and panic among the resident, particularly women, are much evident as the women have stranded at their homes and shied away from visiting public markets.
However, the elderly women could be seen in markets of the locality.
The stall owners of Sunday Bazaar blasted over lukewarm response of police to the knife attacks on women, as they complained suffering economic losses amid fear of attacks.
“Women are scared going out of their houses, resulting in economic losses in the neighbourhood,” a shop keeper told media.
On Saturday, the ongoing hunt for the knifeman – who has so far stabbed over a dozen women in Karachi – was handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), police sources informed media.
The mystery still surrounds the motive behind the knife assaults on women, besides the number of attackers involved in the assaults as Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Friday claimed a major clue had been found in connection with Karachi knife attacks.
The chief minister said that police was investigating to get to the core of the matter. He said that police had number of reasons to believe that at least two suspects were involved in the attacks.
More than one attacker?
Claiming the attacker’s modus operandi in Karachi has significant similarities with the assaults that were carried out in Punjab’s Sahiwal city, the chief minister said: “One of the suspect is believed to hail from Sahiwal in Punjab, while another belongs to Karachi. The suspect from Sahiwal is currently absconding and is allegedly involved in over thirty similar attacks in Punjab.”
Earlier on Wednesday, police had claimed to have made a ‘key arrest’ but the claims fell flat when a woman on Thursday night came under another attack in Gulistan-e-Johar area of the city.
The attack baffled the police officials; later reckoning more than one person could be involved in the stabbing spree.
In light of the CCTV footage, police revealed that the assailant on a motorcycle, wearing a helmet, using sharp objects like paper cutter and knife to carry out attacks on women.
Sindh government has announced prize money of Rs0.5 million for anyone who provides the law enforcement agencies any information with regard to the identity of the attacker.
Talking to media, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Welfare Colony said that her daughter was returning from the park when she was attacked.
She further said that her daughter sustain wound on her back and admitted at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
The pictures taken from a CCTV footage show the knife attacker on the bike appears to be a thin man aged 20 to 29 years. Police said that the suspect’s height ranges from 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inch.