KARACHI - The mysterious role of backstage players have pushed the port city in the boiling cauldron of ethnicity. The economic hub, which generates 67 percent revenue of the country has been divided into No Go areas where gangsters and criminals are ruling the roost. The ethnic polarisation has been growing at an alarming proportion during last four years making it difficult for the business community to continue activities in the areas dominated by rival’s ethnic groups. The heterogenic society is being split on ethnic lines and role of law enforcement agencies (LEA) has been restricted to deal with petty street criminals and low profile bandits. Police killed bandit in an alleged encounter at Guru Minder Intersection on Tuesday late night, killing three and wounding one. Witnesses said bandits did not offer resistance when police sprayed bullets and even the third bandit who came out of the car to surrender was shot dead. The police party which had carried out this act was rewarded by police high ups. But the same police could not go inside areas where people are kept after abduction and are slaughtered after extreme torture on ethnic grounds. Patronising and protection of gangsters or criminal groups continued in the city by some backstage players that caused panic and fear among the citizens living in those areas. Commuters avoid passing through the troubled areas known for their heartless and brutal gangsters who chose victims on ethnic grounds.The LEA check posts and mobiles can be seen outside Lyari, PIB, Essa Nagri, Kati Pahari and all other disputed areas. The presence of the law enforcers in the surroundings of trouble areas is perhaps to give protection to criminal elements. Gangsters across the metropolis have political affiliations and some criminal gangs portray themselves as close associates of some “disciplinary institutions”.In Lyari, gangsters engaged in gang war between year 2000 to 2010 claimed over 5,000 innocent lives and they decided join PPP to get political protection. One of the gangs dominated the whole Lyari with the support of ruling PPP and hoisted the flags and posters of President Asif Ali Zardari in the neighbourhood under their control.However, some gangsters which were once part of Amn Committee left it over some disputes and acting independently decided to replace the posters of President Zardari with army chief. They took out the rallies in favour of Army and made the wall chalking in support of Pakistan Army. A senior police official on condition of anonymity said that some hidden forces are patronising these criminal gangs for political objectives. Zafar Baloch, leader of Amn Committee had said categorically that “PPP armed Lyari people against Mutahida Quami Movement (MQM)”. He pointed out that police and Rangers arrested several criminals of Arshad Papu group, Akram Baloch group and others but did not lay their hands on people affiliated with Baba Ladla group of Lyari, the mastermind and chief of Amn Committee. Police official said that the Rangers conducted raid and arrested notorious gangster Shahid alias MCB after an encounter last year in which two gangsters were killed and a Rangers man was wounded but Sindh Government gave Rs 1 million compensations to the gangsters killed in the encounter while Shahid was released within a week of his arrest. Rangers distanced itself from recently launched Lyari operation on the argument that it was an ill-planned operation. The authorities could not plan any tactful operation despite several protests by business community against the extortion and kidnapping for ransom and the killing of rival ethnic group people. Meter readers, salesman, workers of city district government and others have frequently been killed in Lyari. As a result, hundreds of people left their jobs just to avoid going into Lyari. Gangsters have a system to determine the ethnicity and the political affiliation of anyone whom they kidnap. They do it through the cell phone of the victim, the messages and the songs and pictures on their mobile to ascertain the political affiliation before torturing and killing them. A police official who was recently engaged in investigating killings in Lyari said it was difficult to identify the victims killed by the area gangsters because the bodies are mutilated with eyes and other parts of the body drilled and badly bruised and sodomised. A senior police officer hinted that gangsters getting support not only in Lyari but also in other troubled areas by some covert forces.