The situation grew tense late Friday night in Karachi’s Karimabad neighbourhood soon after a group of people, said to be Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) supporters, uprooted an election camp established by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and set on fire its flags.
The PTI candidate for NA-246 by-elections, Imran Ismail, managed to escape when the protesters holding MQM flags reached the camp and started ransacking it. This created a law and order situation.
Police reached the spot but was unable to control the situation. However, a number of MQM leaders also reached the scene and dispersed the protesters.
Workers of both the parties shouted slogans against each other. The MQM leaders disowned the protesters while they themselves helped to re-erect the PTI camp.
Police also used baton charge to disperse the protesters. They also detained nearly half a dozen MQM workers for setting PTI flag on fire and ransacking the camp.
Rangers were also called to tackle any law and order situation. PTI leader Imran Ismail blamed the MQM for the situation and demanded the Rangers protection.
However, MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the protesters were not the MQM workers but they were the common people and supporters of the party. MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a late night statement regretted the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2015.
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