Rangers conducted a targetted raid at Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquarters Nine-Zero in Azizabad early on Friday morning, arresting Rabita Committee in charge Kaiful Warah and committee member Qamar Mansoor.
The two MQM leaders were reportedly taken into custody for arranging and facilitating hate speeches that were “against peace in Karachi.”
Rangers sealed all roads leading to Nine-Zero before raiding party offices and Khursheed Begum Memorial Hall. They detained and questioned several MQM officials before taking Mansoor and Warah into custody.
The MQM leaders were shifted to an undisclosed location for questioning.
During the search operation the surrounding houses were sealed and residents were barred from leaving the area. MQM claimed no search warrants were produced even as officials rummaged through various offices and confiscated documents.
Arrested for facilitating hate speeches
The Rangers, in a statement released after the raid, said Mansoor and Warah had been arrested for “arranging and facilitating hate speeches against the peace of Karachi.”
Speeches incited violence against officers and soldiers of Pakistan Rangers Sindh, a law enforcement agency of the state, the statement added.
“List of such facilitators has been finalised and more arrests will be made in near future.”
Later, Rangers surrounded the houses of MQM leader Farooq Sattar and Haider Abbas Rizvi, but they did not conduct a raid or did arrest anyone. However, neither was present at their homes at the time.
Separately, MQM workers from various parts of the city were also detained. Those include joint sector and unit in charges from Malir, sector member from Model Colony, and four party workers from Orangi Town.
No warrants presented for raid: Barrister Saif
Addressing a press conference after the raid, MQM leader Barrister Saif said they were continuing their welfare work within the ambit of law.
“If a Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation charity donation receipt is recovered from someone’s pocket, it is as if they have been caught red-handed,” Saif said.
He claimed Rangers had not conducted the raid as per law, alleging no warrants had been presented.
Following the raid, a large number of MQM workers and supporters reached Nine-Zero and protested against the arrest of their leaders.
Earlier in the evening, MQM had hosted the annual assistance programme of the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation at Jinnah Ground. The gathering had also been addressed by MQM chief Altaf Hussain.
This is the second raid on MQM headquarters in 2015. On March 11, in a targeted operation, Rangers carried out a similar and arrested more than 120 party workers.