He's protesting demolition of houses in Gujjar, Orangi nullah operations
The Karachi police have released activist Khurram Ali after detaining for 10 hours.
Ali, who runs a group named the Karachi Bachao Tehreek, was detained at the Samanabad police station. He has recently been creating awareness among people affected by anti-encroachment operations on the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs.
The KBT is scheduled to stage a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday against the demolition of leased houses along the Gujjar nullah. The demonstration has been titled as Ghar Bachao Ehtijaj.
The police arrested Ali from Landi Kotal area at around 11am on Saturday. He was there to visit an anti-encroachment operation site, where the KMC was demolishing concrete structures.
Fawwad Hasan, one of his associates, confirmed to SAMAA Digital that Ali had been released after 10 hours. The police asked him to stop protesting and intervening in the anti-encroachment operation at Gujjar nullah, he said.
“They booked him for obstructing government business,” Hasan said, adding that the police had objection to Ali’s visit and meeting with the affectees as he was not a resident of the locality.
Hasan said they had been assured by senior police officials that no FIR would be registered against the activist. The reason behind his 10-hour detention was to demoralize him and other KBT members, he said.
“But we are determined to stage a protest on Sunday against unjustified demolition of leased houses at Gujjar nullah,” Hassan said.
Mohammad Toheed, an associate researcher at the Karachi Urban Lab, said that Ali is an activist who creates awareness among affectees to exercise their legal rights against the demolition of their leased houses.
“The authorities do not want the KBT to raise its voice against the unlawful demolition of houses at the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs,” Toheed said.
SAMAA Digital tried to contact Ali but his cellphone was switched off.
The Samanabad police said they had released Ali Saturday evening. He tried to provoke affected people at a demonstration in Landi Kotal area, they said.
The police said they arrested Ali for obstructing government affairs. He assured them of not taking part in any protest over removal of encroachments from the stormwater drains, they added.