KARACHI, Sept 1: Police resorted to a baton charge and fired teargas shells in Mawachh Goth on Saturday to disperse a number of people, including women, who took to the streets in protest against a late-night operation carried out by Rangers that led to the detention of nearly a dozen youngsters, officials said.
They said that the protesters blocked the main Hub River Road for vehicular traffic that caused a serious traffic jam on the key city link forcing the police to move in.
The police also claimed to have rounded up some protesters.
“The Rangers and police raided a number of hideouts in the area late on Friday and recovered illegal arms and drugs,” said Mauripur SHO Shafiq Tanoli.
“The Rangers also detained some 12 suspects and took them to an undisclosed place for further interrogation. Early in the morning the area residents took to the streets and claimed that the detained youngsters were innocent and demanded their release.”
The situation turned ugly when the police fired teargas shells after the protesters lit a bonfire on the main road and refused to disperse.
Witnesses said that a number of shells fell inside some homes in the thickly populated neighbourhood, though the police denied any such incident.
“We only moved in when the protesters tried to take matters into their own hand,” the area SHO said.
He said that no protester was hurt in the police action. “They were told clearly that their protest has been registered and they must clear the road. They agreed but all of sudden they remerged on the road and blocked it again.”