The Karachi police on Tuesday clashed with protesters as it launched an anti-encroachment drive in the city’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar area.
Television footage showed police in riot control gear chasing protesters, with one policeman being seen striking a man with his shield.
SSP East Zubair Nazeer Shaikh told Dawn.com that the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) had launched an anti-encroachment operation in blocks 10 and 11 of the locality as per directives of the court.
He recalled that the Sindh High Court in its order issued on March 2 had directed the KDA to clear 30 acres of land from illegal occupation.
The court had also asked the police and Rangers to assist the city administration in view of law and order apprehensions.
“As the operation started to retrieve 30 acres of land, the alleged encroachers put up resistance, prompting the police to take action,” SSP Shaikh said, highlighting that the police only resorted to “light action” to disperse them. The protesters, later on, blocked the road.
Witnesses and rescue services personnel said the law enforcers resorted to baton charges and tear gas shelling. However, SSP Shaikh denied this claim.
Meanwhile, the traffic police said both lanes of the road near Munawar Chowrangi remained blocked due to the protest against the anti-encroachment drive in the area. Resultantly, traffic was diverted to alternate routes.
No injuries or casualties have been reported so far.
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