KARACHI, June 17: The Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, on Monday announced handing over the notorious ‘Peeli Kothi’ situated in Liaquatabad to the education department for setting up a school in the building that the paramilitary force said had been used as a ‘torture cell’ till 1992.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Sindh Rangers said a picket set up by the paramilitary force in the building more than two decades ago had been shifted to an alternative place.
The building would now house a school after the Sindh education department formally took it over, he added.
“The building [Peeli Kothi] remained the epicentre of violent activities in the area and was used as a torture cell in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” he said.
“Peeli Kothi was a symbol of terror till 1992 when Rangers freed the location and established a picket there. Lately, the building has been handed over to the education department of the Sindh government for establishing a school.”
The Rangers statement, however, did not mention any individual or group that had set up a torture cell in the Peeli Kothi and the elements against which the paramilitary force had moved in to clear the area.
Similarly, the spokesman for the Rangers also did not speak about the ownership of the building that had been used as a ‘torture cell’ before the paramilitary force moved in.
Sources privy to the area’s history said the building was actually an abandoned structure that remained unoccupied for years after Pakistan came into being.
Situated in the densely-populated Liaquatabad, the Peeli Kothi remained in the news mostly for no good reasons.
In the centre of the city, the building happened to be in the stronghold of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) that welcomed the Rangers move and said it never supported violence and saw the paramilitary step in the right direction.
“We believe that the MQM-Haqiqi which emerged after 1992 was actively involved in criminal activities,” said Ameen-ul-Haq of the MQM.
“We appreciate the Rangers move to leave the place for school or any other social welfare project. The MQM never supported violence and would definitely welcome their [the Rangers] every move to eliminate criminals and their facilities.”