One dies, scores injured as police use brute force to disperse MQM-P protesters
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A worker of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) succumbed to his injuries in Jinnah Hospital Karachi and many others got injured when Sindh police baton-MQM-P workers and fired tear gas to disperse the protesting activists outside the Chief Minister (CM) House in Karachi, reported 24NewsHD TV Wednesday.
The MQM-P workers including women and children have been baton-charged by police officials in a sudden move to disperse the protestors outside the CM House. A female worker’s condition was deteriorated due to heavy firing at the protestors of tear gas shells by police. It was learnt that 10 MQM-P workers were detained by the policemen from the protest venue.
MQM-P representatives said several women and children participating in the protests sustained injuries, while the police arrested several MQM-P leaders and activists.
MQM-P's joint organiser of North Karachi's UC 5 Aslam also got injured during the protest and was shifted to Jinnah Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sadaqat Hussain was also injured because of the baton charge. However, the police have successfully cleared the area near CM House, the report said.
The protesters, who had gathered in large numbers in the afternoon hours, attempted to reach the Chief Minister House for a sit-in. As a result, the flow of traffic was severely affected on the road considered to be the city's main artery.
MQM-P workers removed all barricades to enter Red Zone and held a sit-in at the central gate of CM House in Karachi to protest against the controversial Sindh local government (LG) law.
The MQM-P rally against Sindh LG law has been converted into a sit-in in Karachi after the workers entered Red Zone removing all barricades placed by the law enforcement agencies.
MQM-P workers and on-duty police officials came face to face after some of the protestors tried to advance towards the CM House. After being stopped at the CM House, the political workers held a sit-in outside the main gate.
Contingents of south police were deployed to the site of the protest to disperse the demonstrators. According to the traffic police, the Shahrah-e-Faisal road started to become choked and as protesters continued to advance forwards, therefore, they had no choice but to use force and fire teargas shells.
The protesters, however, insisted that they were staging their protest peacefully, but the police went ahead and used force to disperse them. The police have cleared the area and roads have been cleared for the commuters, while five people have been arrested so far from the area near CM House.
Commenting on the action of the police to disperse the protesters, former mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar said that the "worst form of state force was used against the protesters," adding that several workers and leaders were injured because of the baton charge.
Meanwhile, senior MQM-P leader Aminul Haq said that the party workers were protesting peacefully in front of the CM House. “We are politicians and we are always ready for talks,” he said, adding that the Sindh government used baton-charge and tear gas without warning.
He further added that protesting is their constitutional right, and the citizen of Sindh have been protesting against the local government law for the last many days. “Power was used ruthlessly on the workers,” he said, adding that several workers have been arrested and have been shifted to various police stations.
Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Information Saeed Ghani said that MQM-P decided to change the location of the protest, as they had earlier announced the demonstration outside the press club but they started coming towards the CM House.
“We are not against protests, even Jamat-e-Islami has been protesting in front of the Sindh Assembly for almost a month now,” he said, adding that the MQM-P should have been careful as several foreign players are staying in hotels near the CM House because of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which is scheduled to commence from tomorrow.
Ghani further added that because of PSL, security is already on high alert the protestors were warned not to move towards the CM House; however, they defied all requests and the police had to take action.