Four more women were stabbed and injured by the "knifeman" in Karachi in the vicinity of Aziz Bhatti and Shahrah-e-Faisal police stations on Wednesday, bringing the official number of victims to 10, a police spokesperson told Dawn.
Fear and panic prevailed among the residents of the area as police authorities fail to arrest ostensibly a lone attacker who has been on a stabbing spree since last week in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and adjoining areas.
Fear gripped residents after reports surfaced of a “knife attacker” targeting women in the area. Subsequently, the police had launched a manhunt and an investigation into the motive and identity of the attacker.
The latest attacks come after the Karachi East-Zone Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sultan Ali Khowaja announced that police officials were deployed in at least 30 points in Gulistan-i-Jauhar along with decoy teams in order to prevent the attacks and arrest the culprit, a day before.
According to the police, a woman was stabbed near Millenium Mall in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. Another woman was attacked at Aziz Bhatti Park in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. Both attacks occurred in the jurisdiction of the Aziz Bhatti police station.
A third woman was attacked in Gulshan-i-Jamal that falls under the Shahrah-e-Faisal police station.
The fourth incident was reported in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, where a 13-year old girl was stabbed and injured.
She was taken to Jinnah hospital for treatment. The hospital’s executive director, Dr Seemin Jamali said that the girl sustained minor stab wounds on her back.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the continued attacks on women and called provincial police chief A.D Khowaja.
“What is happening and why the police have failed to arrest the culprit,” said the chief minister, adding that the attacks appeared to be a move to trigger fear and chaos in the metropolis.
Separately, the IGP Sindh directed the SSP East to take concrete steps to ensure the arrest of the attacker.
Moreover, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar told Dawn that the police have gathered some "clues" and will catch the culprit with the help of technical surveillance.
Repeating the DIG's statement, Mahar said that the attacker was probably suffering from psychological problems.
He added that so far, 11 attacks had taken place, however, only 10 were reported to the police.
“We don’t deny that these incidents are taking place but it is our request to the media not to blow these events out of proportion,” the AIG said.
He pointed out that similar attacks had also taken place in Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.
“By giving extra coverage to these incidents, the attacker has gotten cheap publicity and possibly encouragement to commit more attacks,” he insisted.