Case registered against Bahria Town Karachi guards on charges of rioting, kidnapping

Published May 8, 2021
In this file photo, Bahria Town Karachi officials and security personnel are seen in Kamal Khan Jokhio Goth in Malir. — Photo: Karachi Bachao Tehreek Twitter/File
In this file photo, Bahria Town Karachi officials and security personnel are seen in Kamal Khan Jokhio Goth in Malir. — Photo: Karachi Bachao Tehreek Twitter/File

Police on Saturday registered a case against the Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) security administration over charges of rioting, kidnapping and inflicting injuries, according to official sources and rights activists.

The decision was apparently taken after an intervention by the top PPP leadership and the Sindh chief minister.

On Friday, the security guards — accompanied by policemen in civvies and in uniform — tried to destroy agricultural crops in Jam Kamal Khan Goth in order to pave the way for new BTK projects near Kathor, a move that was resisted by the villagers.

The guards resorted to firing, resulting in injuries to three persons and also allegedly kidnapped the wounded citizens and others who were later rescued by the villagers and shifted to a hospital.

Hafeez Baloch, an activist of the Indigenous Rights Alliance told Dawn.com that the villagers have lodged an FIR against the BTK security administration.

According to the FIR, registered on the complaint of Mujahid Jokhio, BTK guards tried to bulldoze the land at 03:30pm on Friday. When the villagers put up resistance, the guards opened fire on them, he alleged.

The complainant also stated that the guards tied the villagers with ropes attached to their vehicles and took them away.

The case has been registered against BTK security officials, namely Mohammed Amir, Zahid, Abid and others, under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 365 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 337-A (punishment for Shajjah: causing hurt) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Gadap AC, SHO removed

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah removed the assistant commissioner and mukhtiarkar (revenue official) of Gadap Town.

In a statement, Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the chief minister also removed the Gadap Town SHO for "not maintaining peace and order in the area". The chief minister has also ordered a complete inquiry into the incident, he added.

"The Sindh chief minister has said that we will not allow anyone to be wronged. The rights of the local people will be completely protected," Shah said.

Earlier today, the provincial information minister, MNA Jam Abdul Kareem and MPA Saleem Baloch visited Jinnah Hospital to meet those injured in yesterday's incident.

"We will not tolerate anyone being wronged. Complete cooperation will be extended to the affectees," Kareem said.

Later, PPP leaders along with MPA Sajid Jokhio also went to meet the people who were affected by the bulldozing. He assured them that action would be taken against those responsible for the incident.

"We are with the residents of the area. Action will be taken according to the law," Shah said. Details have been sought from the deputy commissioner and revenue officials, he added.

Firing at Bahria Town Karachi

A day earlier, an activist of Sindh Indigenous Rights Alliance and resident of Kathor area, Abdul Hafeez, told Dawn.com the BTK guards along with police tried to destroy the crops in Kamal Khan Jokhio Goth on Friday morning but the locals put up resistance and forced them to abandon the attempt.

However, armed private guards accompanied by police both in uniform and civilian clothes returned to the scene again after Friday prayers and started destroying the crops with bulldozers, according to Hafeez.

Around 100 residents put up resistance, and as soon as a local threw a stone towards the BTK personnel, the guards opened "straight fire" at the villagers. At least one villager, Shaukat Khaskheli, sustained a bullet injury, while another suffered minor injuries.

The guards allegedly took away the injured villager and 3-4 other locals with them, Hafeez said.

Hafeez later told Dawn.com that instead of taking Khaskheli to a hospital, BTK personnel took him in an injured state to the local police station to get a first information report (FIR) registered against him. Locals then reached the police station, got hold of Khaskheli and shifted him to a hospital.

The activist said around 50-60 acres of agricultural land was being demolished to pave the way for BTK's new housing projects near Kathor.

In a tweet, Hafeez said the BTK officials had told the owner of the land that the land had been awarded to the real estate giant by the Supreme Court and therefore the demolition work would continue. However, they were unable to produce any documents when the owner asked them to support their claim, the activist added.

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