Gangs of Lyari have dug a hole so deep for themselves that the only option they have is to stay in Lyari and either kill their rivals or die trying, The Express Tribune has learnt from law enforcers and sources inside the area.
Members of the Baba Ladla group and Uzair Baloch group, who are both directly or indirectly linked with the defunct People’s Amn Committee (PAC), are engaged in a battle with each other for the last few weeks. But it is a battle that can only be fought from within Lyari. If they step out, they will face resistance from a number of groups – including the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) on the Balochistan front and the Kutchi Rabita Committee (KRC) in Lyari – who have a bone to pick with them.
On the other hand, they are also under threat by the law enforcement agencies who have stepped up their game during the ongoing targeted operation.
“Bollywood’s underworld movies inspired them to become gangsters but they did not learn the lesson from the endings of such movies. Before they were united and strong, now they are divided and weak,” Lyari DSP Shakeel Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “We have clear directives to kill or arrest Ladla and Uzair.”
The groups of Baba Ladla and Uzair Baloch, according to law enforcers, have been confined to their ‘claimed’ territories which are run by their commanders [listed in the table above]. Lyari’s bordering areas are strongholds of the BLA, KRC, Arshad Pappu’s group and MQM.
According to former Lyari Task Force chief, Chaudhry Aslam Khan, the gangsters can only fight from inside the narrow or congested streets of Lyari. “They can’t defend themselves in open area, as we can see from the case of Rehman Dakait,” said Khan, who was unable to arrest or kill the notorious gangster during a two-and-a-half month operation in Lyari. As soon as Dakait left Lyari in 2009, he was killed by the law enforcer. The longer the groups stay in Lyari, the groups will remain embroiled in a battle which is damaging both sides. “Uzair has escaped from Lyari but Ladla is still there. Uzair also tried for Ladla to agree to a ceasefire but he refused. This indicates that Ladla is strong,” Khan explained.
Stuck to their strongholds
The senior police officials as well as insiders in the groups believe that the Lyari gangsters can only survive in Lyari. The bordering areas of Lyari include those dominated by the KRC -from Kalri to Agra Taj, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s strongholds – Kharadar, Mithadar, Napier, Garden, Ramswami, areas in control of Arshad Pappu’s group – Sher Shah, Jahanabad and their neighbouring areas. “During the last four years, Ladla and Uzair worked in coordination but now, not only have they picked up arms against each other, but also made enemies with the KRC, BLA and a political party,” said a resident of Lyari.
“Besides new enemies, they still have the old ones to face, such as groups of deceased Arshad Pappu, Akram Baloch, Rauf Baloch, Amjad Lashari and others,” said Khan. “It’s a war for power and money,” said another resident. “It started from within Lyari and it will end also in Lyari.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th,2013.