Why is April 15 important for Karachi?
The day April 15 is the death anniversary of Bushra Zaidi, a young woman whose fate changed that of Karachi. It has been 36 years since she was killed in 1985.
That day started out just like any other for her and her sister Najma. The sisters got ready and left for college. They were students of Sir Syed Girls College.
They got off their bus and were crossing Nazimabad’s Nawab Siddiq Ali Khan Road when there was an “accident”. The exact nature of what happened is difficult to tell given how old this history is. But we do know that Najma’s leg was fractured and she survived. Bushra was crushed and died on the spot.
Bushra’s death changed Karachi. It triggered protests across the city led by students who were tired of bus drivers. SAMAA Digital went digging into this history. We spoke to Saleem Vahidy, who was a senior police officer at the time. Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas recalls the day as well. And Malik Zaheer ul Islam headed the city government’s Traffic Engineering Bureau at the time. They look back at the case and what Karachi used to be like. We also spoke to a member of the college staff who was there.
How much has Karachi’s traffic changed? How much safer is it for college students? These were the points we wanted to highlight.