Crackdown on anti-BTK protesters triggers strike, rallies in Sindh

Published June 9, 2021
Many leaders, activists and workers have been booked over violent attacks, subversion and arson that took place during protest against Bahria Town Karachi on Sunday. — PPI/File
Many leaders, activists and workers have been booked over violent attacks, subversion and arson that took place during protest against Bahria Town Karachi on Sunday. — PPI/File

KARACHI: A shutter-down strike was observed and protest rallies were held in many cities and towns of Sindh on Tuesday in response to a call given by Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) against the arrest of its chairman Sanan Khan Qureshi and many of his party colleagues a day earlier.

In Karachi, markets, bazaars and shops were closed in Gulshan-i-Hadeed and several localities of Malir. Mr Qureshi was said to have been picked up by police from his Gulshan-i-Hadeed residence after he and many other leaders, activists and workers were booked over violent attacks, subversion and arson that took place during protest against Bahria Town Karachi on Sunday.

LARKANA: The strike call remained effective in Larkana city as trading at main trade centres was suspended till 3pm. Activists of JSQM and its student wing held a demonstration at Jinnahbagh Chowk and outside the local press club. They were led by Tariq Korai, Faraz Khuhawar, Ali Abro and others.

The protesters raised slogans against the arrest of JSQM chairman as well as leaders and workers of other nationalist parties and groups. They said protesting against Bahria Town Karachi’s “illegal acts” of dismantling old villages to occupy lands of their legitimate owners was their right. They deplored that at the behest of the BTK administration, police booked many protesters under terrorism charges and arrested scores of them.

The leaders said the police action had sent a wave of resentment among the people of Sindh. “We still don’t know about Sanan Qureshi’s whereabouts,” they said, and called for his immediate release along with all those picked up by police. They demanded withdrawal of all cases registered against them.

SUKKUR: JSQM activists took out protest rally in Jacobabad on Tuesday against their party chief’s arrest.

It started from Shaheed Allah Bux Park and ended in front of the local press club, where participants held a sit-in and raised slogans against crackdown on fellow partymen.

Speaking to them, Deshi Raja Lashari, Ubaid Qazi, Asghar Deshi, Barkat Jamali and others condemned “enforced disappearance” of their party chief and demanded his release. They also condemned use of force against protesters during sit-in at Bahria Town on Sunday.

They said they feared for Mr Qureshi’s life because JSQM’s founding chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi was also “killed under a conspiracy”.

In Tangwani town of Kandhkot-Kashmore district, a shutter-down strike was observed on the party’s call. All markets including Malik Market, Asad Market and Bijarani Market, and shops on main roads were kept closed.

A rally was also taken out from Masha Allah bus stop to Rahbar Chowk. It was led by Deshi Aijaz Rooplo, Mir Sindhi and others. Local leaders and activists of the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) also joined the rally.

A shutter-down strike was also observed in Kandhkot town where Sarrafa Bazaar, Shahi Bazaar and other markets as well as shops and other commercial outlets in the Clock Tower area and Shikarpur Road remained closed.

JSQM activists blocked the road at Clock Tower roundabout with burning tyres to vent their anger.

DADU: Activists of several nationalist parties took out a rally and staged a demonstration in front of the press club on Tuesday. They demanded immediate release of Sanan Qureshi and all those arrested for holding protest against BTK on Sunday and withdrawal of cases against them.

The rally was led by Ghulam Hussain Loond, Mansoor and Mohammad Channa.

Similar rallies were held in Johi, Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sehwan, Bhan Syedabad, Sann, Manjhand, Kotri and Jamshoro.

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Sindh High Court comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi on Tuesday granted protective bail to STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, booked in three separate cases, in a sum of Rs25,000 each. The bail was granted for 10 days (till June 17).

Kotri police produced JSQM activists Abdul Khaliq Panhwar, Ali Bux Kaboro, Jibran Soomro and Mohammad Aslam Chandio in the court of a Kotri civil judge to seek their remand. However, the judge ordered their release.

The FIRs pertained to disturbances that took place at BTK on June 6.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021

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