Ever since the Sindh government has announced strict lockdown measures in Karachi, owing to the high positivity rate of Covid-19, It is being noticed that under the garb of Corona SOP’s, Karachi is being turned into a police state, which is offering a money making opportunity to the law enforcement personnel.
Daily Times learnt that in many suburbs, such as Lyari, Gadap, Ibrahim Hyedri, Qaida Abad, Banaras, Baldia Town, Sheerin Jinnah Colony and other slum areas of metropolis, police in cahoots with the local administration, has allowed the local businesses to stay open till late night, flouting Government’s SOP’s.Moreover, it has also been learnt that the police and the local administration has reportedly set an hourly rate for letting the business operate beyond 6 pm. Shopkeepers alleged that the Police have set the rates for business after scheduled hours and we are compelled to do so.
It was learnt that in slum areas, not only shops are open via police’s backing,but the lawn enforcement personnel are willingly letting the movement of people go unabated.
As per details, Journalists who were reporting on the restrictions imposed by the Sindh government in the metropolis, are being thrashed by the Karachi Police to stop them for exposing the blatant violations of rules and regulations. Journalists, on many occasions were roughed up, while on one instance a reporter, a DSNG operator and a driver were also attacked by the employees of a restaurant when the news channel team was covering the SOPs’ violations in the city.
While talking to Daily Times, All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Atiq Mir said that the provincial government has immensely disturbed the business community in the metropolis by imposing lockdowns to mint money through police and other departments in the guise of implementing Covid SOPs. He said that the Sindh government took businessmen and citizens hostage and turned Karachi into a police state.
According to the city’s electronic market association, their business has been reduced to 75 per cent and said that it has been really difficult for them to run a business in this situation. “Nether there wasn any sale, nor any business.”
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan legislators in Sindh Assembly, strongly condemned the conversion of Karachi into a police state saying that the Sindh Government under the guise of Corona SOPs is violating the self-esteem of citizens and violating the rights of citizens. MQM Pakistan demanded Home Minister Sheikh Rashid and IG Sindh to stop the police from crossing the line and breaking the law.Pak Sarzameen Party Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal also alleged that in the name of the lockdown, the government officials had been abusing and extorting traders, and the police had been picking them up, locking them up and releasing them after minting millions of rupees in extortion.
Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chairman Afaq Ahmed expressed concerns over the strict measures announced by the provincial government on the pretext of curbing the spread of Covid-19 and condemned what he called a biased attitude towards Karachi traders and people.
Afaq Ahmed questioned why all Covid-19 related standard operating procedures were being implemented in “only Mohajir areas” as it appeared that localities on the city’s outskirts were given exemption from the safety measures.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Samir Mir Shaikh said that the Sindh government seems to have completely failed to implement the Corona SOPs adding that the Sindh government ought to take hands-on action instead of verbal and paper work. Shaikh said that instead of implementing SOPs, policemen are busy collecting money from their respective areas, and noted that while half of Karachi is facing lockdown, other parts of the city remain open.
Citizens raised their hue and cry and noted that Karachi city is not as badly affected by Covid-19 as some other countries in the world,, questioning the need for such measures, which are being directed to oppress and deprive the people of the country.
The citizens of Karachi, said that Police’s ham-fistedness in enforcing lockdown measures is disgraceful. “Why this double standard?” they questioned, as some slums areas are still open and other posh areas are closed.
Taking to social media a prominent journalist noted that “If the lockdown continues for another six months, Sindh Police will be able to pay off the debt of the whole of Pakistan”.
However, after citizens posted several videos of police personnel receiving bribes, which later went viral, a case was registered against two officials including ASI, who was involved in bribery during lockdown.
Highlighting the concerns of the police, sources have confirmed that officials have demanded an additional budget from the authorities for the lockdown.The sources added that previously although, the provincial government had announced Rs1 million assistance for those policemen who lost their lives to the virus, none of the victims received the allocated amount.
Source: Daily Times