Case against Ghazi Goth protesters closed as police find factual mistakes

Imdad Soomro
Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

A case that was earlier registered against political workers of nationalist parties, civil society activists and residents of Ghazi Goth, Karachi, for protesting against encroachments on a property by the land mafia has now been closed by the police after terming narrations in the first information report (FIR) factual mistakes.

The case had been registered on July 30 by the Sacchal police station in District East against leaders and workers of nationalist parties, civil society activists and residents of Ghazi Goth. The police termed some of them as members of the banned Sindh Revolutionary Army (SRA) and accused them of encroaching upon land, and attacking and firing at police personnel, and creating terror.

The closure of the case that was registered under a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act along with sections of other heinous crimes shows malpractice of the police that had implicated innocent persons in serious crimes.

In an official report released on August 5, the senior superintendent of police of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) concluded that after perusal of the case file and evidence brought on record by the investigation officer, and recommendations of the scrutiny committee, the subject case was allowed to be closed under the Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

On July 30, the District East police, Anti-Encroachment Force (AEF) and Sindh revenue department took exceptionally strong action against some residents of Ghazi Goth and political workers protesting against encroachments. The police resorted to aerial firing and baton charge, and used tear gas against the protesters, injuring many of them, including women.

As the high-handed manner of law enforcers drew criticism from all quarters, the Sindh government took action and suspended seven senior officers, including five of the revenue department and two from the police.

The suspended revenue officers included Additional Deputy Commissioner Hisham Mazhar, Assistant Commissioner Nadeem Khokhar, Mukhtiarkar Jaleel Birohi, Tapedar Ashiq Tunio and AEF incharge Syed Muhammad Ahmad.

The suspended cops included Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Syed Nasir Bukhari and Sacchal SHO Aurangzaib Khatak. In addition to that, an inquiry was also initiated to ascertain the facts and fix responsibility.

As per the initial claim of the police, a piece of land was encroached by some residents of the area and a teenage boy, two women and some policemen were wounded due to firing as the protest drive turned violent.

The police claimed that it fired tear gas shells and used baton charge against the protesters and fired many rounds in air to disperse the protesters. Meanwhile, Karachi police chief Additional IG Javed Odho told The News that all things would be cleared in the inquiry. He added that the police authorities were inquiring into the role of the suspended police officers as well. The officer, however, said that the mess was created by the revenue officers and police officials were called by them.