KARACHI: Several people were injured due to aerial firing in different parts of Karachi as jubilant citizens marked the arrival of the new year despite a ban on display of firearms.
As the clock ticked past 12am to announce the arrival of year 2023 on Saturday night, the port city resonated with the sounds of heavy gunfire. At least 19 people were hit with stray bullets.
The firing incidents were reported in the city areas of Kashmir Colony, Akhtar Colony, Saddar, Garden, Light House, New Golimar, Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, Kharadar, Al-Asif Square, Board Office, Hussainabad and North Nazimabad.
Other areas where people opened aerial gunfire are: Nazimabad bridge, Liaquatabad-4, Dhoraji Chowrangi, Expo Centre, Landhi, Future Colony, Qasba, Kati Pahari, Gulberg, Water Pump, FB Area, Jamshed Quartes, and Nagan Chowrangi.
Five of the wounded have been shifted to the Civil Hospital for treatment, two to the Jinnah Hospital for treatment, and five to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, the Rescue sources said. According to rescue sources, 19 people have been injured.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested three people over the aerial firing in Korangi and charged them with attempted murder.
Karachiites took to streets and roads to celebrate the arrival of new year. The Five Star Chowrangi was thronged by people in festive mood. Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori arrived at the Numaish Chowrangi where citizens gathered in large number to watch fireworks.
People also flocked to the Clifton Seaview and Do Darya to view massive fireworks celebrating the New Year. Separately, various clubs, hotels and organisations organised huge firework displays to welcome the New Year. Fireworks were also set off in other parts of the city, inlcuding Bahria Town and Bagh Ibn Qasim.
Govt imposes restrictions ahead of New Year night
Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon also imposed a complete ban on carrying and display of firearms, aerial firing, firecrackers and pillion riding of motorcycles or scooters on New Year’s Eve and the next day across the local limits of Karachi for two days starting December 31 till the morning of January 1 with immediate effect.
Those found violating the ban in the metropolitan will be booked under section 188 PPC by the city’s police, as directed by the deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners.
However, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Saturday said that the provincial government has not banned pillion riding in Karachi ahead of New Year’s Eve.
“Public message by the Government of Sindh: There is no ban on pillion riding on bikes in Karachi,” Memon wrote on Twitter.