13 Bahria Town Karachi guards, staff held as police launch probe into violence against villagers

Published May 9, 2021
Police carried out raids at Bahria Town Karachi and took 13 suspects into custody who were allegedly involved in torturing residents of Malir. — Photo: Bahria Town/File
Police carried out raids at Bahria Town Karachi and took 13 suspects into custody who were allegedly involved in torturing residents of Malir. — Photo: Bahria Town/File

Gadap Town police on Sunday launched an investigation against the security staff of Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) for alleged rioting, kidnapping and injuring villagers, and detained more than a dozen staff of the property developer in late-night raids, official sources said.

Two police officers confirmed on condition of anonymity that police carried out raids at BTK and took 13 suspects into custody who were allegedly involved in torturing residents of Malir.

Among the detained persons were guards who resorted to firing and beat up and injured the villagers on the outskirts of Karachi near Kathore on Friday afternoon.

Police have registered a First Information Report under Sections 147, 148, 149, 337-A and 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code pertaining to rioting armed with weapons, kidnapping or abduction in order to murder and causing injuries, etc., against BTK security officials.

On Friday, the security guards — accompanied by policemen in civvies and in uniform — tried to destroy agricultural crops in Kamal Khan Jokhio Goth in order to pave the way for new BTK projects near Kathore, 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.

A police officer said the case was registered on the complaint of a resident of Kamal Khan Jokhio Goth, Jan Sher Khan.

The complainant in his statement before the police said that BTK security staff started occupying land in the village after Friday prayers. As the residents put up resistance, the guards made him (the complainant) hostage, subjected him to torture and tied him with ropes attached to their vehicle and took him away.

According to police, the 13 detained suspects could be seen in videos of the incident that have gone viral on social media.

The development comes a day after Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah removed the assistant commissioner and mukhtiarkar (revenue official) of Gadap Town over the incident.

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.

On Saturday, the provincial information minister, MNA Jam Abdul Kareem and MPA Saleem Baloch visited Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to meet those injured in Friday's incident.

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.

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