Amn Committee man released: Over 100 picked up in Rangers’ Lyari operation
KARACHI: Rangers on Sunday carried out another search operation in the Lyari area and picked up more than 100 suspects, including a key figure of the People’s Amn Committee, who was released shortly after his detention. A heavy contingent of paramilitary soldiers arrived in Lyari in the small hours of Sunday.
They cordoned off the entry and exit points of the Kalakot, Cheel Chowk, Singhu Lane, Gabol Park, Chakiwara, Afshani Mohallah, Eidu Lane and Meeranaka areas and went from house to house in search of illicit weapons and wanted criminals.
The Rangers’ operation in Lyari lasted for about eight hours. Besides taking into custody scores of suspects, the Rangers also picked up Zafar Baloch, a former general secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party’s district South and central figure of the People’s Amn Committee.
However, sources said that the Rangers released Zafar Baloch soon after his detention. The move was quickly condemned by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which also raised serious concerns over the ongoing operation against terrorists due to the release of Mr Baloch.
The sources said that several other detained persons were also released by the Rangers after initial questioning. They said an alleged character of the Lyari gang warfare, Rashid alias Rekha, was also taken into custody during the Rangers’ operation in Lyari. He was wanted by the police for his alleged involvement in several criminal cases, they added.
However, no relevant official of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, was available to confirm the number of arrests, seizure of arms and ammunition or the reasons behind the release of Zafar Baloch.
The Rangers managed to enter the Lyari area on Aug 28 to launch its first so-called successful targeted operation. However, the Rangers’ move drew strong criticism from former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza, who held a press conference to announce his resignation from the party office, as a senior minister in the Sindh cabinet and as a member of the Sindh Assembly. Mr Baloch had also tendered his resignation as the PPP’s District South general secretary on the same day in protest against the Rangers’ operation in Lyari. Meanwhile, police conducted a search operation in the Burnes Road area early on Sunday and rounded up some five suspects.
Sources said the police moved into streets 5 and 6 of Burnes Road and conducted a house-to-house search in the apartments and houses there. The detained suspects were taken to an undisclosed location for questioning.