KARACHI - Law enforcement agencies failed to get inside Lyari, the city’s most notorious town that contributes 70 percent of the total crimes, while picked up over 100 political activists allegedly involved in criminal activities in a predawn operation.

At least hundreds of gangsters, heavily armed remained out of the approach of law enforcement agencies as police forces continued roaming in the surroundings of Lyari. The operation began when district police and other special police squads raided the MQM and ANP offices and houses of their workers, taking scores of them to different police stations.

The raids were conducted in Federal B Area, Malir, Bin Qasim, Quaidabad, Landhi, Korangi, Kharader, Ranchore Line, Lee Market, Liaquatabad, Usmanabad and various other localities.

Police have yet to disclose the number of the political workers and the charges they have been held for. Sources privy to the matter disclosed that lists provided to the police included workers and leaders of various political parities but no specific list of the accused has surfaced so far.  On the other side, the police raided different areas of Lyari dominated by Kutchi community including Agrataj Colony, Jumma Baloch Goth, Bihar Colony, Kalri, Ahmed Shah Bukhari Road and others.

Talking to The Nation, Kutchi Rabita Council leader Hussain Kutchi said that the police was seemingly reluctant to raid or arrest the gangsters and kept roaming in the areas. He said the police have barged into their houses and arrested the KRC workers. He said the KRC workers have been guarding the areas to stop further advancement of the gangsters. He said that internally displaced Kutchi families got back to Karachi from different areas of interior Sindh as Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddique had assured them of adequate security measures. He said that they have demanded the government to set up 9 check posts in the areas but nothing has been done in this regard so far.

When contacted, ANP Sindh general secretary Bashir Jan said that police raided and arrested dozens of their workers from different areas of the city. He said that police have arrested a 70-year-old worker and booked a few of them in fake cases. He said that police carried out action against political leaders and workers instead of criminals or gangsters.

The MQM also claimed that scores of its workers and leaders were picked up from different areas of the port city without any criminal charges. No one was available for comments when contacted. Police high ups including Sindh IGP Shahid Nadeem Baloch, Additional IGP Ghulam Qadir Tehbo and police spokesman Imran Shaukat were not available for comments. 

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Sattar fears he’ll be next

Saying that he may also be arrested, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar Thursday expressed his fear that arrested MQM workers could be killed in extra judiciary action. Talking to media persons outside Parliament building after walkout from the National Assembly session, Sattar said that innocent people were picked up by security forces during Thursday raid. Sattar demanded that arrested workers of his party must be presented before the courts in 24 hours and forced confessions and torture must be avoided.

Sattar said PPP has been squeezed in Sindh only added that if it continues such policies it would be eliminated from Larkana and Nawab Shah too.