Karachi: Violent protest against raids Lyari tense after arrest of 3 ‘gangsters’
KARACHI: Intermittent firing and street clashes between protesters and law-enforcers kept most parts of Lyari shut on Wednesday. Raids by police in different areas, removal of banners of a proscribed outfit and arrest of some suspected gangsters triggered violent protests by residents who hurled stones at the law–enforcers at Lea Market and shouted slogans against what they described as a one-sided operation.
The protesters also blocked roads by burning tyres. To disperse them, the police used teargas and fired into the air.
SP of City Nasir Aftab said that Lyari gangsters were inciting the public after police demolished their several gambling dens, depriving them of their illegal businesses. Scores of people earlier converged on Sheedi Village Road, D.D. Chaudhry Road and Saifee Lane and raised anti–police slogans.
A couple of marchers were heard shouting why Lyari had been singled out for an operation. They also raised slogans against Interior Minister Rahman Malik. The banners of the defunct People’s Amn Committee were removed in different part of Lyari and eight people were rounded up, said the police.
They added that defunct PAC activists forced people to stage protests against the ongoing operation of the police and Frontier Constabulary in Lyari. During the day, Nayaabad, Dubai Chowk, Singhu Lane, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Road, Kamela Stop, Khadda Market and Al Falah Road reverberated with intermittent gunfire.
The police said the protesters were tear–gassed when they started hurling stones at the law-enforcers. The officials said that they also fired into the air to disperse a crowd in the Lea Market area. Police detained eight to nine protesters, who were involved in the riots and attacks on the law–enforcers, said SP Aftab.
He said since police had demolished several gambling dens of gangsters depriving them of their running businesses, they instigated violent protests. He claimed that during the operation, the police removed ‘all the banners’ of the proscribed PAC, adding that such outfits were not allowed to display their banners.
Defunct PAC leader Zafar Baloch said that the people of Lyari were angry because the police had singled them out by conducting raids only in the old city area. Pre-dawn arrests in the early hours of Wednesday, three wanted gangsters were picked up by a special police team during a raid on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Road.
The police also claimed to have seized weapons and drugs found in their possession, but did not disclose the identity of the gangsters.
Earlier, PAC leader Zafar Baloch, PPP leader Habib Jan Baloch, Inspector Yousuf Baloch, Lyari gangster Baba Ladla and his two brothers Zahid Ladla and Tahir Ladla and other Lyari gangsters, including Rahim alias Darinda, Sikandar alias Sikku, Omar
Kutchhi and two unidentified persons, were booked in the murder of Kuchhi Rabita Committee leader Abdul Rasheed, his guard and a policeman. The three men were killed in an attack in Agra Taj Colony on March 18.
The FIR (67/2012) was lodged at the Kalri police station on a complaint of Ibrahim Kuchhi under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti–Terrorism Act, 1997.