KARACHI: Fawara Chowk once again witnessed the use of water cannons, tears gas and baton charge when activists of the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) protested against Israel’s attack on an aid ship on Tuesday.
The protestors were attempting to reach the US consulate to register their protest when security forces barricaded their way. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded at Abdullah Haroon road, towards Zainab Market and towards Electronics market. Panic gripped the locality as shops and petrol pumps closed down as far off as MA Jinnah Road.
The activists responded by pelting the police with stones. Some of the activists who managed to reach the consulate were thrown into police mobile units and whisked off.
According to the ISO’s Ali Haider, who studies at Karachi University, they did not plan any violence. “We just wanted to register our anger but the police started the violence,” he said. According to him nine of their colleagues have been arrested.
The police claimed to have detained seven activists, who were shifted to the Artillery Maidan police station.
Following this, unidentified men burnt tyres and blocked main MA Jinnah road and staged a sit-in against the law-enforcement agencies. ISO activists organised Maghrib prayers at Numaish Chowrangi and only ended their protest when the authorities negotiated with them.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2010.