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January 14, 2020

Demo held against police for ‘supporting land mafia in Scheme 33’

Karachi

January 14, 2020

Dozens of people held a demonstration on Monday against the land mafia in Scheme 33 as well as the police for their alleged support to them.

According to the protesters, the police had raided an under-construction site run by a private company and taken one of the watchmen there in custody. A protester claimed that several police vans had escorted a group of land mafia to the site and told the workers there to leave the premises, threatening them with being arrested if they failed to comply.

He said that it has become a routine in the area for the police to raid a site, arrest one or two workers and then use them for extorting money from the builders. The protesters claimed that the land mafia were being backed by a senior police officer.

However, when The News asked him to comment, the officer said that such raids were not in his knowledge. The officer asked if the affected party had any proof of lease of the land in question.

He, however, did not explain that under which law the police could raid a site and vacate its premises without court orders. According to the private builder, a petition against a previous such attempt was pending in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which had granted the plaintiffs and defendants status quo.

They added that the police attempt had also attracted contempt of the court because the raid was in violation of the SHC order. “We have a court order, so it is contempt of court on the part of the police,” said one of the affected people.

“It is not a fresh incident, as the police do this on a normal basis to earn some extra cash by blackmailing and threatening the builders and residents of booking them in fake cases.” This is the second time the senior police officer has been accused of supporting land grabbers.

During a news conference at the Karachi Press Club on October 9, 2018, the Dairy & Cattle Farm Association of Surjani Town had alleged that two senior police officers of the Sindh police had been supporting land grabbers in the town.

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