KARACHI - A large number of people, hailing from different coastal villages, staged a two-day Long March on Tuesday to register their protest against the sale of precious islands, Dingi and Bhundar, located near Ibrahim Hydri.

It is to be noted here that the government has allowed investors and business tycoons to initiate development of island city.

The rally organised by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) with hundreds of women, children and workforce started from Sachal Hall in Ibrahim Hydri and marched towards its destination at Defence roundabout. A large number of police force was called to disperse the marchers by force.

The PFF believes this development may cause disaster and destruction of communities, depending on fishing as hundreds of fishing vessels move to open sea from these islands and sometimes stay there for weeks and months during the fishing season.

PFF spokesman Sami Memon said they were on the way to destination with peaceful community people, who want nothing but to save natural resources. But the government authorities blocked their way, disallowing them to move ahead.

He said PFF had announced a movement against the sale of islands and the two-day long march was its part. According to the designed schedule, the marchers have to move towards Defence Roundabout on first day on Tuesday and the second day they wanted to reach Governor House to present Memorandum, demanding to cancel the deal.

However, the law-enforcement agencies created hindrances, frightening the peaceful protestors to stay silent.

Earlier, the crowd carrying banners and placards were moving ahead with chanting slogans to protect their rights and cancelation of deal of selling islands.

PFF Vice Chairperson Tahira Ali, General Secretary Saeed Baloch, Fatima Majeed, Majeed Motani, Yousuf Kadani and others were leading the rally. When the protestors reached Qayoom Chowrangi, the police dispersed the people.

After this, the community people gathered at Sachal Hall, condemned the police role and announced to reschedule the movement within a few days.

PFF spokesman said they would not allow the authorities to destroy their natural resources in the name of development. They warned to continue protest against this anti-environment and anti-people decision.

The PFF leaders appealed to the saner elements of the City that this kind of deals and developments will not only cause mass migration, destruction of natural resources but also will put their lives vulnerable to face disasters and destructions. These areas once were forest lands, which should be rehabilitated and saved for the people, who depend on these natural resources.