KARACHI - Law-enforcement agencies have not been able to initiate the operation against Lyari gangsters since they are faced with scores of protesters, including the defunct People’s Aman Committee-backed demonstrators.

Witnesses said that law enforcers could not get inside the area because families of gangsters were protesting against Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, law enforcement agencies and others political and non-political organisations for demanding action against criminals in Lyari.

On Saturday, all commercial activities were suspended when Katchi Rabita Council leader Rashid Katchi was killed.

Witnesses said the rangers and police were unable to get inside Lyari because of the cosmetic protest by the families of gangsters. They further said that commercial and non-commercial activities remained completely suspended as gunshots reverberated in the area during the protest.

Sources said that high-value gangsters managed to leave the area because they were informed about the operation beforehand. They said that several operations were conducted in the city during the past six month, but not a single gangster affiliated with Baba Ladla or the aman committee could be arrested or killed in an encounter.

The sources pointed out that those arrested during the drive were affiliated with Arshad Papu, Ghafar Zikri group, Akram Baloch group and Katchi Rabita Council because all these groups were rival gangs of Baba Ladla. The witnesses said that less then one per cent residents of Lyari were among gangsters. Meanwhile, the police claimed to have arrested several gangsters which residents of Lyari said were miscreants, addicts or low profile criminals.

They said the real culprits were roaming freely in the area.