Sindh Police ‘force’ vendors to close shops by 3pm in Karachi

SHO says acting on verbal orders but Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani denied issuing such directives

Noman Awan April 16, 2020
KARACHI: Reports have emerged of the police forcing shop owners to close their stores before 5pm in sealed areas. On the other hand, the Sindh government has given permission to keep the shops selling essential commodities open until the stated time.

In Jamshed Town, vendors have been pressured into closing shops at 3pm, complained area residents.

According to Abdul Kareem, a resident of Jamshed Town, as soon as the area was sealed, Baloch Colony police officials visited different markets at 2.30pm and instructed vendors to close their shops by 3pm.

Another resident, Adnan, opined that reducing business hours without any prior notice was "unfair."

Following the development, people crowded the shops in the area and many were unable to purchase essential items, he lamented, adding that the police also asked pharmacies to close business by 3pm.

Baloch Colony SHO Ahsan Channa claimed that the Sindh government had ordered the closure of shops by 3pm in all sealed areas. When asked whether he had a written copy of the order, the SHO said that the orders were given verbally.

However, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani denied any such orders being issued for sealed areas in particular.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2020.