The Chishti Nagar neighborhood of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block-10 turned into a battlefield for hours after the locals clashed with the authorities during an anti-encroachment action on Thursday evening.
The residents came out of their homes when heavy machinery was brought into their locality to initiate the anti-encroachment action. The locals held a protest against the attempt of the authorities. The protesters attacked the police by pelting stones on them and also set their van on fire during their demonstration to stop the anti-encroachment action of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA).
In retaliation, more police officials were called in the neighborhood to take action against the violent protesters. The police carried out a baton charge and used teargas to disperse the residents. Some suspects were also detained for disrupting law and order. Gulistan-e-Jauhar SHO Sardar Ali Brohi said the anti-encroachment team of the KDA has been taking action against encroachments across the metropolitan city on the directives of the court. “We [the police] were with the KDA team to provide protection to them.”
The officer said the protesters turned violent by attacking the KDA team and the police with stones, adding that the residents also set a police mobile on fire during the violent demonstration. “The violent protest by the residents forced the police to take action against them,” the officer explained. “We took action against them by using teargas and carried out a baton charge.”
SHO Brohi said that around half a dozen suspects were also taken into the custody of the police. However, he added, the actual number of detainees was being ascertained. He said that a case would also be registered against the violent protesters for taking the law into their own hands, adding that the KDA officials continued to carry out their operation in the neighborhood.
On Tuesday the residents of Chishti Nagar had protested outside the residence of Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah in Phase-VIII of the Defence Housing Authority. A large number of protesters, including women and children, held placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the KDA. They claimed that the officials wanted to raze their houses in Chishti Nagar under the guise of an anti-encroachment operation.
The minister was forced to invite the protesters into his front yard to negotiate with them. The Chishti Nagar residents maintained that the KDA officials had issued a notice for November 19 and then again for November 28 regarding the demolition of their houses. They claimed that neither is there any illegal occupation or encroachment in their neighborhood nor is any of the houses built illegally. They also claimed that the KDA officials had wrongly interpreted the Supreme Court’s orders.
The protesters said that nearly 20,000 people residing in the Chishti Nagar neighborhood would be rendered homeless if the KDA follows through on its notification, adding that the country’s top court had ordered for the anti-encroachment operation to be carried out elsewhere.
On Tuesday, a massive anti-encroachment operation was carried out in Karachi’s four districts, South, West, East, and Korangi. The drive was conducted under the supervision of the KMC anti-encroachment director Bashir Siddiqui.