Two torture cells unearthed and 133 arrested as Rangers sweep through Lyari

Published: August 29, 2011
It took 3,000 Rangers eight hours to comb the area. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

It took 3,000 Rangers eight hours to comb the area. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

It took 3,000 Rangers eight hours to comb the area. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS
Residents protest against operation by burning tires and blocking roads in area. PHOTO: INP/ FILE

Rangers personnel wrapped up an eight-hour scouring of the now-defunct Peoples Amn Committee’s (PAC) strongholds in Lyari by unearthing two torture cells and bringing in a haul of 133 suspects along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

Almost 3,000 Rangers officers, including its Anti-Terrorism Squad and commandos, set out early on Sunday and trekked through Nayyabad, Baghdadi, Eidu Lane, Nawa Lane and Khadda Market and had surrounded the areas at 6 am.

For the second time, people tried to prevent the Rangers from ‘silently operating’ through Lyari by gathering on the streets and making announcements from mosque loudspeakers. A man and two women, Nasreen and Zahida, were injured as unidentified armed men opened fire at the protesters.

However, Rangers continued their work and blocked the entrance and exit routes. No one was allowed in without being thoroughly searched while snap checking was also stepped up with Nayyabad and Baghdadi as the centre of focus.

“We were just about to take a nap after our Fajr prayers when there was a loud announcement that the Rangers were conducting an operation and everyone took to the streets,” said a resident. “Like always, the residents who were not involved kept the Rangers busy with their protests and all the ‘gangsters’ managed to hide.”

According to an official handout issued late on Sunday night, a total of 133 suspects were taken into custody while Rangers have seized 110 weapons and three hand grenades. However, the identities of the suspects were not disclosed.

They discovered automatic weapons and ammunition that were hidden in a ditch inside a house. They found rockets, grenades, nine sub-machine guns and hundreds of bullet rounds once they dug out the makeshift arsenal.

The torture cells were found a small distance apart in the Nayyabad area, said Sachal Rangers Head Brigadier Waseem Ayub. One was underground while the other was on the first floor. Both were outfitted with chains, chairs, tape for gagging victims, ropes, and power tools to dismember bodies. Jackets, sacks and documents were strewn on the floor along with the uniform and cap of the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation in one of the cells.

The Rangers credited their finds to information provided by their intelligence departments but made it clear that the operation is far from over and would continue until peace is completely restored. At the moment, the Rangers’ pressing concerns include how long these cells have been running, how many remain and who runs them. At the moment the suspicion falls on the PAC as the area is their territory. The authorities also need to find out how many hostages have been brought there to be killed, and who they are.

These are not the first such cells discovered. The police have previously found a cell believed to be run by one of the PAC’s rival groups. At least 13 people were killed in the cell found in Bheempura – Akram Baloch’s turf.

PAC’s version

Former PAC leader Zafar Baloch, told The Express Tribune that the Rangers have apprehended over 100 former PAC activists during the operation. He also said that the footage released by Rangers of people being tortured in these cells was fake and was part of a conspiracy against them.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Aug 28, 2011 - 12:51PM

    Ridding Karachi of mafia which enjoys political patronage will require very strong and uncompromising political will. Are PPP, MQM and ANP ready to show that for the sake of Pakistan?


  • luke warm on situation
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:19PM

    damm it first let the criminal go saying we r commming we r comming for the operation and when they all ran from layari to balochistan and iran then do co called search operation r we mad. were criminals of baba ladla and uzaiz jan waiting with doodh patti chai for rangers and police. why they delayed operation for 3 days and gave space criminal to run from layari. jiye pakistan and also vote for the same governement so that we lose all thinga at hand


  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Aug 28, 2011 - 2:19PM

    I hope they have arrested the actual killers and the master minds behind these killings / butchering / and mutilation of the dead bodies. If not then this action was a FARCE


  • Aug 28, 2011 - 2:25PM

    This is just 0.5% of operation terrorists filled Lyari.


    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:19PM

    According to PAK renowned writer JAVED CHAUDHRY :

    Five terror org are involved in KHI bhatta target killing :

    Sunni Tehrik
    Sipah Sahaba


  • Shah Zalmay Khan
    Aug 28, 2011 - 3:33PM

    It seems “Parliamentary Committee” was the Best Option in hand*. Now **The Committee will hold a number of In-Camera Meetings in the Serenity of the Parliament House, Islamabad.
    The Parliamentarians will Burn Midnight Oil pondering over the Karachi Situation. Heated Debates will be made and Bits of Information will be LEAKED to the Media about the War of Words between the various parties.
    After the meeting, at the Press Conference, the Committee Head will recommend to the government THE FORMATION OF ANOTHER COMMITTEE for the purpose…. :PRecommend

  • Ahmad
    Aug 28, 2011 - 4:02PM

    People in Pakistan are the most unfortunate people in this world..
    People with different ethnic and/ or religious backgrounds cannot tolerate each others..
    Corrupt, greedy, and sensless leaders, and our people keep on electing them..


  • Aug 28, 2011 - 4:10PM

    Much needed.


  • Imran
    Aug 28, 2011 - 4:30PM

    Now, Are these so-called terrorists and gang thugs going to get justice or will they be let go after Police torture to do the same crimes over and over again? I say lock them up for life or hand them the death penalty. Its allowed in Islam according to Sharia Law IF we consider Pakistan a Islamic Republic Period


  • Arzoo
    Aug 28, 2011 - 5:54PM

    Listening to live press conference of Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza. Leaving aside his judgment, he is coming out as someone speaking the truth. It is incumbent upon the media to investigate what he is saying.


  • AdNaN
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:12PM

    @luke warm on situation:
    dude this was the perfect op by the rangers …. fisrt they attemped to do a op by they purposly ran away (they could lathi charge the protest ) so that all the crimals that ran from lyari would come back thinking they will always be safe due to their people. so that is why after 3 days and unnoticed they carried out the op and after fajar so that every crimal wuld be their and i must say very sucessful op . my dad said they have arrested about 70% of layari gang members. My dad is 1 of the intelligence officers in Pk rangers …. so this was indeed great tactics from rangers and u should praise it Recommend

  • Amer
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:34PM

    The people arrested should not be released. PERIOD! This was a successful operations by Rangers and that’s the reason Mr. Mirza has resigned. The Rangers have the target killers in hand, please for the sake of this city and this country, please don’t let these people go.


  • Arzoo
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Dr. Mirza’s press conference just concluded. I am awe-struck at the disclosures he has made. He has categorically stated, holding the Quran on his head, that Altaf Husain has clearly stated that he is involved in the decision to break up Pakistan. Dr. Mirza’s press conference lasted several hours and has included other serious statement of similar nature. MQM must respond to all these statements in seriousness and in a manner that will make sense to the general public. Clarification from MQM in a demagogic manner and empty statements will not make sense even to their own die-hard constituency. As someone coming from Urdu speaking community I must say that Dr. Mirza came out looking as someone speaking the truth.


  • Aug 28, 2011 - 6:53PM

    tendered his resignation,
    non understandable,
    one hand,he was tremendous supporter of peace
    in Karachi and on the other hand he opposed operation
    against the target killers and persons spreading unrest
    and receiving extortion.


  • Hassan
    Aug 28, 2011 - 9:35PM

    LOL! People just dont see torture chambers being uncovered in Lyari…. And the 18 Urdu speakers recovered in Lyari…. Instead they are with Zulfiqar Mirza…

    Truly Urdu speaking are alone in this world.


  • Salman Orangiwala
    Aug 28, 2011 - 10:08PM

    As far as holding the Holy Quran . Oh come’on …..go to any court of law ,all the people do so all the time in the presence of the Judge .

  • Ahmer
    Aug 29, 2011 - 7:33AM

    @Salman Orangiwala:
    The sad part for the residents of Karachi is that the allegations that both ZM and MQM have leveled against each other are true! Both have been responsible for killing the innocents of this city and will continue to do so in the future. So, please don’t try to make this an ethnic issue, which it’s never been, it’s a gangster-politician issue! PERIOD!


  • Waseem Baloch
    Aug 29, 2011 - 8:19AM

    So he held a Quran on his head and you believe everything he says? You people seriously need help…even God will not help you when you are that stupid and ignorant. ZM is a racist man who only knows how to incite hatred. Never has he said anything useful. If he has all this evidence, why has he not presented it to the authorities yet?! His entire press conference was garbage. I only feel sorry for those people who think that he is an honest man. You people are seriously naive.


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