City News

Mehmoodabad Nullah anti-encroachment drive postponed indefinitely after violent protests

After massive and violent protests by the residents of Manzoor Colony and Mehmoodabad, the campaign to remove encroachments along the Mehmoodabad Nullah has been postponed indefinitely.

The protesters on Thursday took over the Manzoor Colony fire station as well as 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 was called in because violence was expected.

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.

The KMC’s 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 protests, 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, the KMC’s 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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