KARACHI: Fear ripples across the metropolis and the culprit remains at large, a day after a fresh wave of knife attacks left five women injured within a span of mere three hours in different parts of the city.
Mystery continues to surround the attacker, who has managed to evade capture even after 14 knife attacks in the past nine days. The attacks on women were, at first, restricted to the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area but spread to Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Dalmia and other localities on Wednesday, spreading a renewed wave of terror across Karachiites.
Investigative authorities remain baffled about the identity and motive of the attacker. Some officials contend the assailant is ‘mentally disturbed’ whereas some believe the attacker is part of an organised group.
The latest attack took place at Gulshan Chowrangi on Wednesday, in which a 12-year-old girl was assaulted with a knife.
Later the same day, the attacker first targeted a woman in the city’s Gulshan-e-Jamal area, followed by another attack near Dalmia road, 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 NIPA Chowrangi vicinity.
Over the next couple of hours, the assailant stabbed a 13-year-old girl in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area.
Some similarities have been noticed across all the incidents: the attacker reportedly attacks with his left hand using a sharp object, wears a helmet and rides a red motorcycle.
Karachi Police released pictures and CCTV footage of the suspect last week, wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorcycle moments before attacking one of the victims.
“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.
Following the renewed spate of attacks, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah slammed the police for failing to arrest the suspect and directed IG Police to arrest the attacker immediately.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also took notice of the knife attacks on women and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits involved.
“PPP will not tolerate [these] attacks on innocent women. These terrorists are challenging our nation by attacking our women,” he said in a statement.
The PPP chairman also asked the judiciary to direct the police to ensure protection of women.