KARACHI: Over a dozen workers and supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) were reportedly taken into custody when they attempted to march towards Yadgar-e-Shuhada in Azizabad on Sunday.
Teams of the police and Rangers were deployed in the surroundings of Yadgar-e-Shuhada on Jinnah Ground in Azizabad to stop the MQM-L workers and supporters. Roads connecting Ayesha Manzil with Yadgar-e-Shuhada had also been blocked on both the sides by erecting barriers.
A large number of MQM-L workers and supporters, including women, tried to reach Jinnah Ground but they were stopped from entering the area. According to unconfirmed reports, over a dozen people were also taken into custody by the law enforcers, especially by personnel in plainclothes that had been deployed in the surroundings of Yadgar-e-Shuhada and Ayesha Manzil.
Among the people who were picked up by personnel in plainclothes included the resident editor of The Nation in Karachi, Mansoor Khan. He was reportedly passing near Ayesha Manzil on a car when he was stopped and arrested. Khan was later released after a brief detention. His detention was condemned by the Karachi Union of Journalists.
All the eateries, pan shops and teashops remained closed in the vicinity as the law enforcers asked the shopkeepers to shut their shops for the entire day. Earlier, the police had withdrawn a notice issued to the shopkeepers in the Azizabad vicinity telling them to close their businesses ahead of the security measures taken by the law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, District Central SSP Arif Aslam Rao claimed that the police did not arrest anyone.
“We did not make a single arrest,” he said, adding that all what the police did was diverting the crowd.