Police baton-charge Nasla Tower residents protesting against demolition

Protest was organised by the association of builders, which stopped work on all ongoing projects in Karachi


Our Correspondent November 26, 2021
PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA

KARACHI:

The area of Shahrea Quaideen in Karachi on Friday turned into a battlefield after builders and developers clashed with the police during a protest against the demolition of Nasla Tower on the orders of the Supreme Court.

The builders and developers have stepped in to save the Nasla Tower from collapsing. As they reached Shahrea Quaideen to protest, the police used tear gas as well as shelling and dispersed them. The area became a battlefield. Intermittent hide and seek continued between the police and protesters throughout the night.

Abad chairman Mohsin Sheikhani says construction activities in Karachi have stopped. The scope of the protest will increase. Such an institution should be created that no fingers can be pointed at its NOC.

Police and administration say they are following the orders of the Supreme Court. Interruptions will not be tolerated and no one will be allowed to block the road.

According to the details, the demolition of the Nasla Tower was underway Friday evening as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

A large number of builders and their labour leaders led by Chairman of Association of Builders and Developers (Abad) Mohsin Sheikhani reached Shahrea Quaideen.

Police tried to stop them, but upon failure baton charged them. As the number of protesters was overwhelming, police called in additional reinforcements and started shelling due to which the area adjacent to Shahrea Faisal became a battlefield.

Rangers also reached the spot to control the situation. Meanwhile, a brawl broke out between the builders and police officers. The clashes, which began in the evening, continued until dark. Shahrea Quaideen was closed for traffic and the worst traffic jam was also observed on Shahrea Faisal.

Chairman Abad Mohsin Sheikhani while talking to the media said that “peaceful protest is our right but the police greeted us with sticks and shelling”.

Also read: Abad stops work on all construction projects in Karachi

For the first time in the history of the country, the ones who pay millions of rupees in taxes were beaten with sticks.

As a result of the baton charge, the hand of the vice-chairman of Abad has been broken and many people have been injured.

"We are not in favour of any illegal construction activities, but what should we do if the projects for which we have all the NOCs are declared illegal after a few years," he said. “Either an institution should be created whose NOC can never be questioned.”

He added, "We are not negotiating with any of them. If our demands are not met, we will have no choice but to relocate our assets."

He also said that work on all the projects under Abad in Karachi has been stopped.

The protest will be extended to Hyderabad, Sukkur, Islamabad, Lahore and across the country.

Talking to the media, Deputy Commissioner Sharqi Asif Jan Siddiqui said that there was no objection to the protest but Shahrea Faisal could not allow the closure.

“We had to use force to resist. We are obeying the court orders. We will not allow anyone to interfere in it.”

SSP East Qamar Raza Jaskani said that police have not arrested anyone and no case has been registered. “No one can be allowed to obstruct court orders.”

To a question, he said, "I was not ordered from anywhere. I directed the action myself.”

According to a Karachi police spokesman, the protesters were given a separate place to protest.

Police stopped the protesters from blocking Shahrea Faisal. They tried to disperse the protesters through dialogue. Protesters blocked the road and interfered in the government work, forcing batons to be charged.

Police opened the road for traffic and advised the protesters to stay away from the streets and the Nasla Tower.

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