Around 54 suspects were taken into custody by paramilitary forces in a six-hour long search operation in Lyari on Sunday.
The Rangers conducted a door-to-door operation in Afshani Gali, Nawa Lane, Tenary Road, Niazi Chowk, Aath Chowk, Cheel Chowk, Eidu Lane, Dubai Chowk, Saifi Lane, A D Chaudhry Road, Shah Baig Lane, Kalakot and Haji Mir Mohammad Durra Khan Road.
They claim that they went ahead with the raid after acting on actionable intelligence. They were targeting gambling dens owned by high rollers like Noor Mohammad alias Baba Ladla, Zubair Baloch, Jabbar Jhengu, Taj Mohammad alias Taju, Jabbar Jhengu, Rashid Rekha and Fahim Niazi. While the dens were reportedly destroyed, sources said that none of the most wanted criminals were caught.
The Lyari police were not allowed to take part in the offensive. SSP District South Asif Ejaz Sheikh told The Express Tribune that Rangers had taken the police into confidence before launching the operation. “We were there as backup. Once we get back the control of the area, we will know what they did.”
According to a Rangers spokesperson, an improvised explosive device (IED), five kilogrammes of explosives, hand grenades, Kalashnikovs, pistols, rifles, ammunitions and narcotics were seized during the search operation.
Later on, residents of the area, majority of whom were women and children, protested against the Rangers and termed the offensive a “one-sided operation”.
Acting on a second lead
The police apprehended over a dozen suspects during targeted raids in Lyari. These raids were not a part of the Rangers operation.
The authorities were reportedly acting on information provided by 17-year-old Sameer Baloch alias Patni, who was arrested, with two of his companions, from Express Market on Saturday. Sameer is allegedly affiliated with Lyari’s Khal Nayak gang. The police claim Sameer had been demanding Rs1 million from a poultry trader, Shafi Mohammad, since Eid.
Target killer arrested
In Baldia Town, the Saeedabad police arrested an alleged target killer, Abid Shah on a tip-off. A hand grenade, rifle and a pistol were seized from the suspect. They claim that the suspect was involved in over a dozen target killing cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.