KARACHI: An hours-long sit-in on the Superhighway (now known as Motorway-9) by workers, contractors and allottees of the Bahria Town housing project on Saturday, also joined by certain lawmakers, caused immense inconvenience to road users who remained stuck in a traffic jam for a considerable time, officials and witnesses said.
Two police officers were suspended for dereliction of duty and the police announced registration of a case against the protesters after higher authorities took notice of it.
The protest sit-in by “victims of Bahria Town” took place despite a recent decision of the police authorities that no main roads and highways would be allowed to be blocked. Officials and witnesses said that scores of people, including women, started their protest from Defence Housing Authority and for a while they protested on Sharea Faisal before moving towards the Superhighway.
“[Thousands of] people, including women, staged sit-ins at different places on the highway from around 10am to 4pm,” officials said. As a result, smooth passage of traffic on both tracks “suffered badly”.
Officials said that most of the protesters were workers, contractors and allottees of Bahria Town, but certain lawmakers and political leaders belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the PPP also joined their protest.
The police officials said that the security in-charge of Bahria Town was also among the leaders of the protesters.
Initially, the protesters staged a sit-in outside Bahria Town but later on they staged another sit-in at Kathore, adding to the traffic mess. The traffic coming from Hyderabad was diverted to the link road leading to the National Highway from Gulshan-i-Hadeed.
Similarly, the traffic going from Karachi to Hyderabad was diverted towards the Northern Bypass from where motorists travelled to Quaidabad-Gulshan-i-Hadeed towards the link road on their onward journey to Hyderabad.
At around 4pm, the protest ended.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018