KARACHI – Karachi’s troubled Lyari locality became a battlefield when resident protesters clashed with hundreds of law enforcers on Friday. The residents were demonstrating against a raid operation launched last Tuesday.
This was the fourth successive day when the protesters fought pitched battles with riot police. Protesters mostly youth resorted to stone pelting, arson and aerial firing to vent their anger over the raids and arrest of dozens of residents.
Police fired teargas shells to disperse the mob. The enraged protesters attacked a police armoured vehicle with a petrol bomb and set it on fire.
However, as the police were attacked, teargas shelling was intensified. The city’s oldest part especially Lea Market echoed with the sound of increased gunfires with both sides resorted to aerial firing.
Though police were successful in dispersing the protesters after five hours, clashes spread to surrounding areas — Naya’abad, Kamila Stop and Khadda market of Lyari.
The protesters complained that the police were harassing the residents, arresting innocent people where as criminals roamed the streets freely under the ‘protection’ of the law enforcement agencies
Police on the other hand claimed that the operation was only launched against the criminal elements responsible for extortion and other street crimes.