NAWABSHAH, Oct 3: Tension gripped Nawabshah city and its adjoining towns on Wednesday after two days of violence involving activists and supporters of various nationalist parties and the law-enforcement personnel.

All markets, shops, business establishments and private educational institutions remained closed for a third consecutive day and vehicular traffic remained thin in most areas of Nawabshah district. Government educational institutions did open but the attendance was thin.

Police conducted raids in different parts of the district to round up those involved in violence during the ongoing protests against the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance, 2012 and its passage by the Sindh Assembly. However, there was no official word about how many were picked up or arrested.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed in troubled area to maintain law and order after torching of a police station and several vehicles by protesters. There were reports that shops were opened in some areas but there were few customers.

Fear and tension prevailed in several areas with armed activists firing into the air to spread panic and the law-enforcement agencies personnel chasing them away.

DIG Hyderabad Range Sanaullah Abbasi and SSP Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) Sarwar Abro visited various areas of the city to review the security situation. Additional police force with more APCs was sent to the city from other districts to help normalise law and order.

Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz issued a press statement on Wednesday accusing the police of taking action against peaceful political activists at the behest of Pakistan People’s Party. It condemned the raids being conducted for the arrest of activists and demanded registration of FIR of its member, Ali Raza Khaskehli, allegedly killed in police firing on Monday.

It warned of an intensified protest campaign if the FIR against the SSP concerned, Rangers commandant and officials was not registered. Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) leaders Hyder Shahani, Dr Abdul Hameed Memon and Hooth Khan held a press conference at the local press club to condemn the crackdown. They defended the ongoing movement against the SPLGO and said it was part of a conspiracy to divide Sindh.

Meanwhile police registered three FIRs (Nos:192, 193 and 194) at the A-Section police station against STPP leader Nisar Keerio, Sarfaraz Memon, JSQM leader Athar Shah, Asad Shah, Waheed Lakho, Shahid Channar, Abdul Fateh Rind, Liaquat Lakho, Zulfiqar Jamali, Imran Keerio, Rafiq Mallah and hundreds of unknown suspects under Section 3 / 4 of the Explosive Substance Act, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and sections 324, 151, 152, 397, 353, 147, 148 33/H-ii of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Many arrested workers of various nationalist parties were produced in the Anti Terrorism Court. ATC Judge Saghar Hussain Zaidi granted their judicial remand for seven days.