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pakistan
Tuesday Jun 15 2021
By
Web Desk

Clashes erupt between police, protesters as anti-encroachment drive at Karachi's Aladdin Park begins

By
Web Desk

Violent clashes erupted on Tuesday between police and protesters gathered to demonstrate against a Supreme-Court ordered anti-encroachment operation on Karachi's Rashid Minhas Road.

An anti-encroachment drive ordered by the Supreme Court has been underway in various parts of the city. However, it was at the former Aladdin Amusement Park which was converted to the Pavilion End Club and where a shopping mall had also been constructed, that the demonstrators had gathered today, to protest against shops being demolished.

Shopkeepers hold a demonstration against the anti-encroachment operation at Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
Shopkeepers hold a demonstration against the anti-encroachment operation at Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar

In a court hearing a day earlier regarding encroachments in the area, the apex court had ordered the Karachi Commissioner to ensure their removal and file a compliance report within two days.

When the operation began today, shopkeepers staged a protest on the road which was met with a baton charge by police, resulting in injuries to several people.

Police personnel charging with batons at protesters to disperse them and continue the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
Police personnel charging with batons at protesters to disperse them and continue the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A protester attempts to get away as police personnel charge with batons during a protest against the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A protester attempts to get away as police personnel charge with batons during a protest against the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A man bears the brunt of the polices baton charge, during a protest against the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A man bears the brunt of the police's baton charge, during a protest against the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar

During the operation, a restaurant on the premises was evacuated and all its equipment shifted onto a truck.

The billboard at the entrance of the shopping plaza was demolished with the help of heavy machinery while demolition of the main entrance wall was underway at the time this report was filed.

Shopkeepers gather outside the Hot n Spicy restaurant, amid the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
Shopkeepers gather outside the Hot n Spicy restaurant, amid the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
The restaurant sign being taken down, during the the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
The restaurant sign being taken down, during the the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
Workers of the Anti-Encroachments Cell demolishing the Pavilion End Club building on the orders of the Supreme Court, at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
Workers of the Anti-Encroachments Cell demolishing the Pavilion End Club building on the orders of the Supreme Court, at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A view of the Pavilion End Club premises during the the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar
A view of the Pavilion End Club premises during the the anti-encroachment operation at Aladdin Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, on June 15, 2021. — Online photo by Sabir Mazhar

Protesters pelted stones at the law enforcement personnel, leaving a policeman injured.

Director Anti-Encroachment Bashir Siddiqui, who was leading the operation, said there is stiff resistance from the shopkeepers but vowed that the orders of the Supreme Court would be implemented.

Flow of traffic affected

Due to the protest, the flow of traffic was also affected on the main Rashid Minhas Road.

According to traffic police, the road from Nipa to Gulistan-e-Johar is closed for vehicles due to the operation and traffic is being diverted from Nipa to Hassan Square.

FB Area operation

In addition, on the orders of the Supreme Court, the anti-encroachment department took action in Federal B Area Block 15, during which a boundary wall spread over four acres was taken down.

According to KMC officials, rooms that were part of an accommodation in an adjoining plot used by a private company were also demolished during the operation; however, the employees were given prior notice to move their belongings.

The officials said that according to the court order, the process has to be completed within two days and a report has to be submitted. “A decision on the houses in the adjoining plot will be taken after looking at the status of the construction plan,” they said.

Stay order on nullah operations lifted

Furthermore, the Supreme Court lifted the restraining order on the anti-encroachment drive around Orangi and Gujjar nullahs.

The Supreme Court, in its order, directed the Sindh government to rehabilitate the affectees and provide them adequate compensation while continuing the process of vacating government land along both the canals.