City News

1,000 residents booked under Anti-Terrorism Act

Police have registered a case against around 1,000 residents of Manzoor Colony and Mehmoodabad for staging a violent protest and attacking the authorities during a drive on Thursday to remove encroachments along the Mehmoodabad Nullah.

An FIR No 526/20 under the sections 147, 148, 149, 341, 186 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code and the section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was registered at the Baloch Colony police station on behalf of city warden Nadir Khan, who was also wounded during the violent protest.

The police said the case was registered against 800 to 1,000 unidentified residents of the area but no arrest was reported till the filing of this news report. The campaign to remove encroachments along the Mehmoodabad Nullah has been postponed for an indefinite period.

The protesters on Thursday also took over the Manzoor Colony fire station and captured several vehicles and trucks of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), all of which were later surrendered to the police after negotiations.

The KMC was supposed to demolish 850 illegal houses in a major anti-encroachment operation to clear the area on the other side of the Mehmoodabad storm water drain. A heavy contingent of police and other law enforcement officials were called in because of the threat of violence.

The National Disaster Management Authority and the District East administration were also on board for the operation, and the area from the KMC’s Manzoor Colony fire station to Korangi Road was to be cleared of encroachments.

KMC Senior Director Anti-Encroachment Bashir Siddiqui said that after the violence started, two of their staff members were badly injured, because of which the operation was stopped.

He said that scores of KMC vehicles were also damaged in the violent protest, while their staff members were held hostage. He added that an FIR will be registered against the protesters. The protesters also demolished the Manzoor Colony fire station’s main wall and gate. When the KMC’s anti-encroachment teams reached Manzoor Colony, the residents pelted them with stones and shouted slogans against the municipal body.

Movement of traffic on the Korangi Expressway, Shaheed-e-Millat Road as well as the causeway was completely suspended, resulting in a massive traffic jam in the entire area and their adjoining localities. A resident claimed the police attacked the peaceful

protesters, following which violence erupted.

“The nullah isn’t encroached upon. The KMC had given us this land,” he said, adding that the drain needs to be cleaned and the road on its both sides needs to be constructed, without demolishing any house.

Earlier, Siddiqui had said that their motive was not to demolish any of the residential units but only put an end to all the commercial activities being carried out along the storm water drain. He pointed out that there are shops, warehouses and other commercial units on the land of the Manzoor Colony drain. He said senior police officers were also on board for the operation.

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