KARACHI - Police Friday swooped on enraged Lyari People’s Amn Committee activists on II Chundrigar Road when they tried to enter Red Zone.

The area around Shaheen Complex of II Chundrigar Road in downtown Karachi near the Governor’s House and the Chief Minister’s House turned into a battlefield when police stopped the protesters from marching to Bilawal House to press their demands.

Police used batoncharge, teargas and aerial firing to quell the protest, injuring several protesters. More than 100 demonstrators were detained. The police and the protesters also traded fire and the annoyed protesters damaged public vehicles and buildings.

The committee had announced that it would organise a protest in front of Bilawal House to show its wrath over the fact that authorities concerned had not taken proper steps to net the suspects of killing of two football players Elahi Buksh, alias Alok Gawadari, and Khizar Baloch, alias Moja Baloch, about a month ago in a clash between the People’s Amn Committee and Katchi Rabita Committee and lack of development work in Lyari.

Committee leader Zafar Baloch claimed that though Lyari had become a stable neighbourhood, targeted killing could revisit the area as, according to him, the investigation committee formed by the home minister had not produce its results within 48 hours.

He alleged the people who represent Lyari in the Sindh Assembly were part of a conspiracy against the area and its residents. Baloch staged a sit-in against the police action.

However, the Sindh Police IG said the police would maintain order in the Red Zone at all costs. He added that near about 50 agitators had been taken into custody. Security around Bilawal House has been beefed up. All roads leading to Bilawal House was sealed off while police were deployed around the US Consulate as well.

Later, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan and instructed him to control the situation. On the directives of home minister, Deputy Commissioner (South) Jamal Mustafa Qazi met Baloch, making a request for visiting Bilawal House with representatives to register their complaints.

Baloch led a delegation to Bilawal House where PPP Karachi Secretary Mir Ismail Barohi and Arshad Naqvi assured them of redressing their grievances. After the negotiation, the protest was called off.