Averting disaster: 81 people arrested for violating ban on swimming

People have been taken into custody from Hawkes Bay, Clifton and Sea View beaches

Police vans and CBC lifeguards were stationed along Sea View beach in Clifton during the Eid holidays to enforce the ban on swimming in the ocean. The rough seas claimed over 40 lives during Eid last year. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Eighty-one people were arrested for violating the ban on swimming in the sea, imposed by the city administration earlier this June, during the Eidul Fitr holidays. 

The people were taken into custody from Hawkes Bay, Clifton and Sea View beaches on the first and second days of Eid. The judicial magistrates performing special duties during the holidays released the arrested persons after taking personal sureties. However, they were directed to appear before the relevant courts after the judiciary resumed work.

The arrested people were charged with section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with 'disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant,' said a duty officer at the Boat Basin police station.

Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui imposed a six-month ban on swimming or stepping into the sea on June 6, keeping in view the tragedy that occurred last year that claimed many lives.

Last year, 40 people drowned to death in sea off the Clifton and Sea View beaches during the Eid days. The search for the bodies continued for several days after the incident prompting authorities to put a long ban on swimming in the sea.

"This is the time when the tides are really high and dangerous even for professional swimmers and the ban has been imposed just to avoid mishap like last year's," Siddiqui told The Express Tribune in June.

Even after the imposition of the ban, incidents of drowning were reported. Two youngsters drowned at Hawkes Bay on June 13 while three were rescued from Paradise Point on June 16.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015.