KARACHI: Two senior officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation have been placed under suspension for their alleged involvement in harassing, sending inappropriate messages and asking for carnal favours from a woman whose house is to be demolished during an ongoing Supreme Court-mandated anti-encroachment operation at Gujjar Nullah, it emerged on Saturday.
The two BS-17 council employees — deputy directors of Katchi Abadis and anti-encroachment departments — were directed to report to the human resource management department of the KMC with immediate effect after Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab suspended them and formed a committee to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
Sources told Dawn that the action against the two officers were initiated after a woman accused them on social media of bribery and harassment for sparing her house that was marked for demolition during the ongoing anti-encroachment operation.
They said that the municipal administration had gotten the video clip of the affected woman and audio clips containing her conversation with the two officials.
A Gujjar Nullah resident alleges they asked for bribe, favours for sparing her house from demolition
The clip showed woman saying that the two officials had initially demanded Rs100,000 for not razing her house during the anti-encroachment action, but she could give them only Rs25,000 due to her financial constraints.
“Next day they demolished our house,” she said, adding that the officials asked her to either pay the full amount or enter into a relationship.
She further alleged that the KMC officials blackmailed her and threatened her that they would implicate her brother in a criminal case if she did not fulfil their inappropriate demands. “They also asked me to send them my photographs,” she added.
The clip showed the woman saying that the two officers had done the same indecent things with several other female victims of the anti-encroachment operation at Gujjar Nullah, but they (affected women) opted to remain silent due to threats given by the KMC officers and out of fear of consequences.
The administrator, who is also the provincial government spokesman and CM’s adviser on law, while taking notice of the alleged bribery and harassment by the officials of the anti-encroachment and katchi abadi departments, said that he would not tolerate such indecent acts.
Talking to Dawn, he said that a committee had been set up to look into the matter and it would conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry into the matter.
He said that further legal action would be taken against the officers involved after the inquiry. “The matter will be investigated transparently without giving any political colour,” he added.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2021