Safer relocations: No letup in migration as 100 more families leave Lyari for Badin

The residents dismiss police claims that peace has returned to the area.

Buses full of Kutchi residents of Lyari leave the city on Wednesday night. More than a 100 families have been relocating to rural Sindh nearly every day. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SAQIB/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The ongoing wave of migration from Lyari continued as over 100 hundred families left for Badin on Wednesday evening while several others plan to move within the next few days.

The residents mostly belong to areas adjacent to the Lyari Expressway.

The police, however, said that everything was under control and people don’t need to leave the area. “It is our responsibility to maintain law and order and we are doing our best to ensure peace,” said Lyari SP Najam Tareen, adding that Rangers would be deployed in sensitive areas. The police also claimed that around 25 police check posts have been set up at different points.

Replying to a question, Tareen said that not a single person has been arrested as yet. “Why would we arrest anyone when there is peace?”

Meanwhile, the residents dismissed the police efforts as just mere eyewash. “The government is not serious in maintaining law and order,” said Shehzad Akhtar, a resident of Al-Falah Road. “Police mobiles do patrol but they leave the area as soon as armed men enter the area.”

He further said that police was only deployed in areas which are already peaceful.

The residents also complained that despite setting up committees by the provincial and the federal government, not a single police and Rangers check post has been set up in areas prone to violence.

Anwar Adam, another resident, told The Express Tribune that he was the last person from his family to be leaving the area. “Everyone wants to go as fear reigns supreme but officials continue to deny it.”

Adam’s account was corroborated by shopkeepers who appeared too scared to share the threats they faced. “Gangsters continue to threaten us and demand extortion money,” said a shopkeeper on condition of anonymity. “They ask us to accept the ‘parchi’ or be ready to face the consequences.”

The shopkeepers added that there was no point in informing the police as they would not be able to do anything about it. “All of them are stakeholders in this dirty business.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.