KARACHI: As many as 11 men belonging to a political party were apprehended during three targeted raids conducted by the paramilitary Rangers in different parts of the city on Friday.
The raids were carried out in the stronghold areas of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). So far, Rangers officials did not share the details about the raids with the media. Sources, however, claimed that two local leaders of the MQM were taken into custody during an intelligence-based targeted raid conducted by the Rangers in Gulshan-e Shamim, Azizabad - the party stronghold where its headquarters is also located. The arrested men were identified as Nafees and Arshad, who are said to be the local leaders of the party for the area.
Shortly before this raid, three other men affiliated with the MQM were also taken into custody during a targeted raid by the Rangers in Liaquatabad on Friday afternoon. According to sources, the suspects were identified as Imran, Kasu and Zulfi.
Meanwhile, two other MQM men had earlier been apprehended during an overnight targeted raid in Bangoria Goth, Azizabad. Alauddin and Kamal, associated with the MQM's Unit 153-B, were taken into custody during the raid.
Three more workers, identified as Qadir, Danish and Saleem were arrested from Saeedabad, Baldia Town, while another worker, Muhammad Ali, was apprehended from Scheme 33, Safoora Chowrangi. A raid was also conducted at MQM's office in PnT Colony. However, no one was arrested in the raid. All the arrested men were shifted to an undisclosed location for further questioning. Arms and ammunition were not found in their possession.
While the Rangers did not disclose details about the raids and arrests, sources claimed that the recent raids by the paramilitary force could be part of their campaign against forced collection of fitra in the city. They added that the law enforcers also recovered fitra receipts from the men apprehended from Bangoria Goth. During Ramazan, the Rangers have so far arrested nearly 20 MQM men for allegedly collecting fitra forcefully in Rizvia Society and Hyderi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.