Stringent security measures and warnings issued by the government to adhere to the code of conduct when collecting hides ensured that the three days of Eidul Azha in the city were largely peaceful.
With the approximate number of hides totalling around 1.2 million, political and religious parties operating in the city were able to get their hands on a fair share of the precious commodity.
Volunteers and supporters of the political parties’ welfare organisations, banned outfits, charitable organisations, and religious parties plied through the streets in an attempt to attain the lion’s share of the trade worth approximately Rs3 billion. Unlike the last few years, however, there were hardly any reported incidents of snatching or violence which had become characteristic of the occasion.
Meanwhile, the law enforcement officials claimed that, since they had initially arrested a few miscreants attempting to use force in the collection of hides, it had served as an example for the others to not dare use intimidation. “The incidence of snatching remained low overall. There were a few isolated incidents but the situation was largely under control,” a Rangers official told The Express Tribune.
According to the official, as many as six men were arrested by Rangers from Kharadar and Saddar for attempting to snatch hides on the first day of Eid.
In all, the Rangers and police arrested 15 people who had attempted to do the same.
A resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 10-A, where the welfare organisations of two political parties were largely active in the collection of hides, Hanif Jadoon said, “In the past, brawls would break out among the volunteers and there would be tension regarding the collection. This year, however, everything went smoothly and people gave animal skins to the organisation of their choice.”
Another resident of FB Area told The Express Tribune that volunteers carried out a door-to-door campaign in only those areas where they knew they would get the hides for sure. “There was no harassment of any sort,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, the welfare organisations of two major political parties involved in the collection of animal hides reported that the controlled law and order helped increase their share of collection compared to last year’s.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s charitable wing said that there were no incidents of snatching of hides or forcible methods used by any organisation this time. “The improved law and order situation in the city helped us secure a 10 per cent increase in the hides’ collection compared to last year. People were able to donate their animals’ hides to us without any fear,” said Hasan Ahmed, the spokesperson for alKhidmat Foundation.
Meanwhile, the head of the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), Ahmed Ali, said there were no untoward incidents which helped his organisation run the campaign smoothly. He was, however, of the opinion that the overwhelming response to their campaign was also because people sympathised with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “People realised that one political party is being pinned to the wall in the targeted operation. They therefore donated the hides to us.”
He said that the current operation has generated a huge public response, which showed in the significant number of animal hides donated to the KKF. Ali added that, while the counting of the hides was still in process, there was definitely a marked increase from last year.
“We had strictly directed our volunteers not to use any kind of force – every volunteer was directed to carry their official cards and NICs.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2013.