Sunday September 26, 2021

50 Jubilee Market shops razed amid protest against anti-encroachment drive

50 Jubilee Market shops razed amid protest against anti-encroachment drive

Shopkeepers in the Jubilee Market of the Garden area resorted to a strong protest on Wednesday against an anti-encroachment campaign as they staged a sit-in in front of the heavy machinery brought there to carry out the demolition activity.

Police baton-charged and detained a number of shopkeepers, who were later release. The retailers demanded that they should be given an alternative place to do their businesses. They said the livelihood of thousands of families would be affected due to the demolition activity. The concerned shop owners said that they wouldn’t even desist from sacrificing their own lives to stop the demolition operation.

Police officials said that in compliance with the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s orders, the Anti-Encroachment Department (KMC) has planned the removal of encroachments and illegal construction from government land M/S Jubilee Cloth Market on Wednesday.

Keeping in view the current law and order situation in the city, they had adopted security arrangements to avert any possible resistance. They also ensured peaceful conduct of demolition work at the site and maintenance of law and order to avoid any mishaps as there were threat perceptions of setting on fire public and private property and transport.

They added that the drive started on Wednesday morning under the supervision of the SP Lyari Division and the commanders were SDPO Garden with mobile and personnel and the SHOs of the Lyari Division with staff. Moreover, the SDPO Garden and the SHO of the Nabi Bux police precinct were directed to ensure that the demolishing work was carried out peacefully and they would utilise the strength as deemed proper to avoid any law and order situation.

Officials said that they had also requested the wing commander of Rangers to deploy maximum Rangers mobiles and motorcycles in the surrounding areas of the Jubilee Market for a smooth flow of the demolition work and to avoid any law and order situation.

Police and witnesses said an operation had been under way in Karachi on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to restore drainage and sewerage systems of the city. The Anti-Encroachment Cell on Wednesday started action to demolish the old Jubilee Market situated on a storm water drain.

The assistant commissioner of the area and a large number of police personnel were present on the occasion as part of strict security arrangements which had been taken to tackle resistance likely to be offered by the retailers of the market.

The Anti-Encroachment Squad of the KMC has taken action against 164 shops of the market. According to KMC senior director Bashir Siddiqui, as many as 32 shops of the Jubliee Market had been demolished earlier. A few weeks earlier, the foundation of the market had sunk into the nullah after which several shops were destroyed.

On Wednesday, he said some 50 shops were destroyed on the orders of the Supreme Court. In the passage of two days, he said the rest of the shops would be destroyed. The deputy commissioner of District South had written a letter in this regard on Tuesday to law enforcement agencies and various land-owning agencies. The law enforcement agencies were requested to provide proper security and cordon off the area before the start of the demolition of unauthorised constructions. The power utilities, including the Sui Southern Gas Company and K-Electric, had been requested to disconnect connections to the market before the operation kicked off.