KARACHI - As many as 27 shanties were gutted here in Rehman Villas at University Road on Thursday.

According to chief firefighter Ehtisham, at around 11:15am, an unknown caller informed the department that a fire engulfed the shantytown located in the limits of Sacchal Police. Responding on the call, four fire brigade vehicles were immediately dispatched to the spot and later six more vehicles were sent to extinguish the fire. He said that some 27 huts were completely gutted in the fire before they reached there

Chief firefighter further said the fire was brought in control within an hour and the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.

Later, the inhabitants descended on the streets and staged protest against the land mafia. The protesters blocked all major arteries and alleged that the fire was a pre-planned incident. They said the land grabbers were threatening them for dire consequences, if they did not evacuate the land. Later, police high-ups rushed on the scene and after negotiation, the protestors dispersed.