Man dies by suicide ‘triggered by demolitions’

At least eight persons temporarily detained from Gujjar, Orangi residents’ protest


Our Correspondent June 22, 2021

KARACHI:

The family and residents of Federal B Area's Gulshan-e-Mustafa Colony staged a protest on Monday night after an elderly man died by suicide, allegedly triggered by the anti-encroachment drive in their area.

Earlier on the day, the police and affectees of demolition drives along Gujjar and Orangi nullahs clashed as protestors gathered in front of Bilawal House.

Suicide

According to residents of Gulshan-e-Mustafa Colony, Dilawal Khan, 60, was distressed by the announcement that the house he had built decades ago was to be demolished.

According to Jauharabad Police, responding to a distress call on Madadgar 15, a team of police officials arrived at Khan's house and found that he had allegedly hanged himself to death.

The police shifted the deceased to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and handed over the body to the aggrieved family after completion of medico-legal formalities. SHO Ghayoor Abbas said that the police would investigate the matter from all angles.

'Illegal detention'

Separately, the police detained at least eight demonstrators from outside Bilawal House, where the affectees of Gujjar and Orangi nullahs had gathered along with civil activists to register their protest against demolitions.

The demonstrators denounced the police's attitude towards them and claimed they were prohibited from shouting slogans and found a heavy contingent of police when they arrived at Bilawal House Chowrangi.

Read more: Lovers commit suicide after families’ disapproval

While the police claimed only eight individuals were detained and released shortly after, one of the organising groups, the Karachi Bachao Tehreek, claimed that over 150 protesters were detained illegally. They were taken to three different police stations and released only after the demonstrators moved to the Karachi Press Club and held a press conference, the KBT maintained in a statement issued on the day.

Social media users from different walks of life condemned the detention of protestors when the news broke. Shortly after, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab tweeted, "I have spoken to the SSP South. No one has been arrested. Please let me know if any individual is right now under arrest. CM Sindh has ordered an inquiry into the incident since Sindh government respects the right to peaceful protest".

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2021.

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