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BEHIND the colourful names and daring exploits of the characters associated with the Lyari ‘gang war’ there lies a dark reality which manifests itself through murder and mayhem. The grisly death of notorious gangster Arshad Pappu is perhaps a prime example of the sheer brutality with which criminals operate in Lyari — one of Karachi’s most rundown neighbourhoods. Pappu met an ignominious end on Sunday, with his body left on a junk heap. Reports indicate that the gangster’s body, along with that of his brother, was mutilated and burned. It is said Pappu meted out similar treatment to the body of a rival criminal’s father after kidnapp-ing and killing him. The incident also indicates the helplessness of law-enforcement agencies when it comes to Lyari: police were prevented from recovering Pappu’s body, which was allegedly taken away by gangland rivals. This illustrates who really calls the shots in Lyari. The death of Arshad Pappu was celebrated in parts of the neighbourhood with song, dance and distribution of sweetmeats.

By all accounts the gangster led a violent, crime-filled life and perhaps such an unsavoury end was the natural conclusion to such an existence. Yet the death and gruesome treatment of his body reflects the savagery criminals are capable of, and the state’s inability to crack down on the gangsters that have held Lyari hostage. The state’s actions in the area are reactionary: once in a while police and Rangers will storm into Lyari to conduct operations that produce few lasting results. Alleged political patronage of criminals further complicates matters. Until the state seriously addresses Lyari’s issues such as law and order, socio-economic uplift and infrastructure development, criminals will continue to prey on the locality’s people and such atrocities will continue.

Comments (7) Closed

sarfaraz aslam (@AslamSarfaraz) Mar 19, 2013 07:03am
To maintain law and order is the prim responsbility of og goverment. This kind of action make the public a bigh sigh, more over polical free police make the living makes the masses life easy..
Ahmed Jumma Mar 19, 2013 07:06am
It is quite annoying that dacoits call themselves Muslims and defame Islam while there is no room in Islam even if he beats up an animal. Nobody is allowed to kill a human being, but these gang war members are not afraid of Allah Subhanhu wa taala (God). These dacoits not only kill their target person, but also kill the innocent people around them even many innocent lovely little children have been the victims of their brutalities. These gang war members are merciless and barbaric, they have killed many innocent Muslims all around the city of Karachi especially in Lyari Town.
tajmeer Mar 19, 2013 07:47am
People like papu have same ending,but the issue is that how such people become so dangerous that govt and law enforcement agencies are not able to arrest them and bring them to justice so other will learn a listen from this. People celebrated his death with songs, dance and sweats so we can understand from this that how the situation was worse for the citizens in Leyari. Govt should take effective steps to bring such kind of criminals to justice.
Iftikhar Husain Mar 19, 2013 11:40am
It is a correct analysis of the situation in this part of the city.
Aziz Mar 19, 2013 05:35pm
It is the government's responsibility to provide a peaceful environment to its people no matter what. If there are gangs, hire people who can fight these gangs. The war with India and Al-Qaida should take a backseat. Cut down military budget and spend on police or have the military patrol the neighbourhood. It will definitly change the environment in that area.
Sridhar Mar 19, 2013 07:30pm
Wouldn't it be great if each community picks a date, every once in a few years, when all the gangsters assemble and take out one another and engage in all the cruelty that their imaginations and weapons permit. After such cleansing, the community can go forward for a few years of peace till the next cleansing. But it will be a terrible loss for the politicians and businessmen who need these puppet soldiers to do their dirty work.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Mar 19, 2013 11:45pm
While I appreciate your apparently frustrating comment, which is quite understandable, in the circumstances, I sincerely feel that an attempt at relatively free and fair elections, is still worthwhile. It is hoped that after a few such elections, a responsible and strong civilian leadership will arise and could deal with such gangsters and criminals, in a forceful manner.