A case was registered against 12 men on Thursday for beating up and allegedly robbing a trader on his refusal to pay protection money in Mamu Kanjan area.
The FIR had followed a demonstration by traders of Mamu Kanjan area, including the complainant. They accused the suspects, all residents of Chak 511-GB, of running a protection racket in the area. They protested against the police for, what they claimed was, their failure to protect businesses from criminals.
The FIR stated that Kashif was robbed of Rs125,000 and several dresses at his shop on refusal to pay monthly protection money. It said he was also beaten up and his shop vandalised. It said some traders who tried to mediate the dispute were also beaten by the suspects.
The protest ended after Mamu Kanjan police and Naib Tehsildar Mehr Asif Abbas Kathiya arrived on the scene and assured the traders of action against the suspects.
SHO Munawar Ali said security for businesses in the area would soon be beefed up. He said the suspects would be arrested once their pre-arrest bails were vacated by the court.
The FIR mentioned Sections 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death) , 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 337 H-2 (Punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act), 148/149 (rioting). It mentioned Ghulam Dastagir, Afzal Ahmed, Muhammad Ramazan, Bahadur Khan, Rajab Ali, Khadim Hussain, Asghar Ali, Jahangir Khan and Ghazi Khan.
Talking to The Tribune, Rajab Ali rejected the allegations as baseless. However, Rajab Ali said, they had beaten up the complainant, Muhammad Kashif. He said the assault at the complainant’s shop on Wednesday night was over the beating of his friend Asghar Ali, also mentioned in the FIR, by the complainant.
The suspect said Asghar Ali, who ran a stall in a Ramazan Bazaar near the market where Kashif has a garments shop, was beaten up over a quarrel with some vendors at the Bazaar. He alleged that Kashif had joined the assailants and later took Ali to his shop, where he detained him for several hours. “We had gone to the market after learning from Ali about the brawl and the beating,” he said. “We did not rob him (Kashif) of anything,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.