Dawn News

A plainclothes police officer reacts, as an injured fellow officer, not pictured, is taken to a hospital in an ambulance during a crackdown operation by Pakistani police commandos against criminals in Lyari, Pakistan.—AP Photo

KARACHI: “It is a curfew-like situation here in Lyari as police have been allowed to open indiscriminate fire during the so-called targeted operation. People have been compelled to stay indoors with no basic necessities of life for the past three days,” said a resident associated with a group working for sustainable development while speaking to Dawn on Sunday.

“Somehow I managed to bring my children to my office in Clifton, because they had not taken even a sip of water for more than 30 hours and were in a state of trauma in the absence of power supply,” said Elahi Bakhsh.

Similarly several other families fled their homes on Sunday in the wake of law and order situation and subsequent closure of markets and suspension of power and water supply.

While many people left the area to stay at their friends’ and relatives’ in other parts of the city, there were many more who could not afford to do so, he added.

“A majority of the population is poor wage earners. The fighting has deprived them of their livelihoods,” said Arif, a resident of Chakiwara, adding that the whole Lyari had been affected.

Two boys who stepped out in an attempt to leave the strife-hit locality were kidnapped in the Mola Madad area, claimed Bakhsh.

Residents of the Lea Market area, Aath Chowk, Cheel Chowk, Afshani Gali, Ghareeb Shah, Bakra Piri, Chakiwara, Kumharwara, Kalakot and other affected parts of Lyari said the authorities should have made alternative arrangements for the supply of food and other amenities.

“There’s no light in here, we have heard that a pole-mounted transformer in our area has been damaged during the operation,” said a resident, who with his family had been confined to their small apartment in Kalakot, while speaking to Dawn over the phone.

At least charities or voluntary groups should come forward to help residents, said a young man. The law-enforcement agencies should accompany them and provide proper security to them so that they could help the violence-stricken residents.

Another resident said that an ice seller was gunned down in the Kumharwara area on Sunday and expressed fear that the police would claim that they had killed a ‘gangster’.

Perhaps no case would be lodged and pursued in courts, he added.

Bakhsh said that men, women and children were compelled to remain indoors without safety, food, power and water for the past three days.

Food items and water were being sold at exorbitant prices in a few parts of Lyari until a day back, but that option too was no longer available, said a young resident of Chakiwara.

The authorities must restore the power supply at the earliest so that the residents who had water in underground tanks could pump it up and the gloomy situation be eased.Residents said that none of them were informed about the operation and when normality would finally return to the city’s oldest neighbourhood.

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Comments (1) Closed

Amir Baloch
Apr 30, 2012 12:48pm
NGOs must raise their voice and help people in distress