KARACHI: A large number of traders and shopkeepers of Jama Cloth Market staged a violent protest on main M. A. Jinnah Road in the small hours of Tuesday morning against a late-night raid of Customs authorities on one of their markets to seize alleged smuggled goods.

Area police said the Customs Intelligence raided Allahwala Building being used by several traders as their warehouses in the night between Monday and Tuesday.

“As the news of the raid spread, the shopkeepers and labourers reached the scene and blocked the road for vehicular traffic near Khaliq Dina Hall,” said an official.

“Soon they turned violent and started pelting policemen with stones who were there only to keep things under control during the protest.

The police fired shots into the air to disperse the mob and make space for the traffic, which was jammed on main M. A. Jinnah Road with a number of ambulances moving to nearby Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi stuck up among other vehicles.

The traders on the other hand alleged that the Customs Intelligence seized their goods worth Rs70 million with no documentary proof shared by the officials about their claim.

They said they did not have any receipt of the goods seized by the customs and they had no documentary proof to reclaim them even after going through the due process.

“The Customs Intelligence is a government organisation enjoying all powers and authority,” said Mazhar Khan, representatives of Jama Cloth Market. “Then why they raid in nights?”

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021

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