The Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) on Wednesday got a first information report (FIR) registered against dozens of people who had gathered outside its Karachi office earlier this week to protest the authorities’ slackness in removing rainwater from roads in DHA and Clifton despite the passage of several days since the heavy monsoon rains.
The FIR has been registered against 22 named and other unidentified protesters who participated in the hours-long protest on August 31 on the complaint of a CBC officer.
The CBC lodged the case against them on charges of “ransacking” its office, using “inappropriate language” against state institutions, spreading fear, harassing officials and creating hindrances in official work.
The FIR has been lodged under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 148 (rioting), 147 (punishment for rioting), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Munawar Hasan, building and security supervisor of the CBC.
The complainant stated that he was present at the CBC office located on Khayaban-i-Rahat, DHA Phase VI on Aug 31 while other staff were “in the field busy in dewatering efforts” when around noon, 40-50 “peaceful residents” gathered to lodge their complaints.
In the meantime, a group of 30-35 “miscreants” also came there and allegedly scuffled with the guards posted there. They shouted slogans against the CBC and other state institutions by using “uncivilised language”, forcibly entered the CBC office and broke its glasses and flower pots, and created hindrances in official work and harassed the staff, the FIR said.
It said the protesters also allegedly created hindrances in the work of the teams that were “busy in working in the area” to improve the post-rain situation. The complainant alleged that the protesters ransacked the CBC office and created “fear and terror” among the people. They stayed at the office until 8pm and allegedly adversely affected the dewatering work, according to the FIR.
A senior police officer said that no one had been arrested so far.
Frustrated by the lack of action by departments concerned, residents of DHA and Clifton had on Monday gathered outside the CBC office to protest against the post-rain situation in the two localities.
Some of the protesters lost their cool as they scaled the CBC office gate to force it open and stage a sit-in to demand removal of top CBC and DHA officials.
The protesters also demanded dewatering within next three days, restoration of power and gas supplies to all phases within 24 hours, reconstruction of infrastructure in 30 days, construction of water drains in 30 days, accountability of officials with forensic audit of DHA and CBC accounts and mosquito spray in all phases.