KARACHI     -   Police on Sunday arrested Alamgir Khan, the founder of FixIt campaign and a PTI MNA, after a clash between FixIt volunteers and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers at Teen Talwar.

The incident took place when Khan and his supporters clashed with PPP workers as the former moved towards Ghani’s camp office to hold a demonstration against “water and sewerage issues” faced by Karachi.

At least 15 members of FixIt campaign and nine members of PPP were also apprehended and shifted to local police stations in the city.

Later, police released the PTI MNA along with other FixIt-PTI workers from Frere police station and nine PPP workers from Defence police station.

The PTI claimed that two of the FixIt members were critically injured and shifted to Agha Khan Hospital while Minister for Local Bodies Saeed Ghani also claimed injuries to his eight activists including one having deep cut at his backbone and others with rod marks and fracture.

According to details, the PTI MNA Alamgir Khan along with his volunteers announced protest outside the camp office of provincial minister Saeed Ghani at Clifton near Teen Talwar area.

A large number of PPP activists also gathered at the camp office and a scuffle ensued between the two groups as soon as the two parties came face to face and raised slogans against each other.

The district south police intervened into the incident and arrested members from both sides and shifted them to Arambagh and Frere Police Stations.

SSP South said that the police was compelled to intervene after both sides scuffled. “Arrests have been made from both sides and action will be taken as per law,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi condemned the arrest of the party lawmaker Alamgir Khan and others and said that it was their due right to raise voice against the issues in the city.

“We strongly condemn the high handedness and arrest of the FixIt members and PTI MNA Alamgir and demand resignation of the provincial minister Saeed Ghani for using such tactics to suppress peaceful protest,” he said.

He said that the FixIt members only gathered at the road leading to the minister’s camp office when they were surrounded by PPP activists and later arrested by police.

Naqvi said that they would not support protest outside anyone’s house but Sunday’s protest was at the camp office of the local government minister.

“Protest is our right and if we will be denied peaceful protest then we will publish one hundred thousand pictures of Saeed Ghani and the chief minister and paste it at garbage spots in the city,” he warned.  The opposition leader said that they believed in peaceful protest and if anyone wants to protest then they would be even welcomed at the Governor House.

He also demanded the IGP Sindh to take notice of partial attitude of the police authorities and warned that if continued then they would stage sit-in outside the AIGP Karachi office.

He also demanded immediate release of the arrested members of the FIX IT and PTI MNA Alamgir Khan.

“We were assured release of PTI activists at Aram Bagh Police station but still 17 of the party activists are in police lockup in Frere Police Station,” he said adding that a case was also registered against them.

He warned that if the activists were not released then they would announce their future course of action.

PTI Chief Organiser Saifullah Niazi also telephoned Naqvi and condemned the arrest of the sitting lawmaker of the PTI.  According to party press release, the party’s chief organiser also approached the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and asked him to take notice of the arrest as per the assembly rules and the constitution.

He said that the PPP was crushing peaceful protest in the province and was using state power against peaceful protestors.

“When thieves are arrested they demand production orders but uses police force against a sitting MNA,” he said and demanded immediate release of Alamgir Khan and other activists.

PPP RESPONSE

Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani while terming the incident unfortunate said that they had never opposed right of peaceful demonstration but would not tolerate hooliganism.

“Alamgir has several times pasted his and chief minister’s pictures on manholes but we tolerated and even the chief minister showed restraint when he threw sewage water at the chief minister house gate,” he said.

Ghani while shedding light on Sunday’s incident said that their activists gathered in front of the minister office so that he did not repeat act happened outside CM office and remained peaceful. “The incident occurred when a group of PPP activists was mocked causing scuffle between the two sides,” he said.

He informed that their eight activists were injured and one was severely injured and had stiches at the backbone and the other had an arm fracture.    

Our nine people are also arrested, said the provincial lawmaker while addressing a presser alongside PPP leaders, he said.

He said that protest was their right but throwing garbage or filth at anyone’s house is not his right. “MQM-P, Jamaat-i-Islami and other political parties including PTI had staged protest against water and sewerage issues in the city but no action was taken against them,” he said.

He however said that if anyone would come outside his office or house then they should be ready to face PPP workers as it will not be tolerated.

“I also asked Khurram Sher Zaman in a telephone call after incident if it looks good that 5,000 PPP activists gather at Governor House and throw filth and garbage there against the hike in fuel, electricity prices and rising inflation,” said Ghani.

“PTI MPAs and MNAs are acting as goons and should realise that it is a responsibility bestowed upon them by masses rather than fulfilling vested interests,” he said.

He also asked the PTI to explain if FixIt was part of them or a civic organization. “Even today he came in guise of FixIt,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police have not registered any FIR till filling of this report.

BACKGROUND

The sit-in was planned by PTI MNA Alamgir Khan, who also leads a social organization named FixIt, outside the office of the provincial local bodies minister Saeed Ghani in Clifton area.

The sit-in was probably in response to a protest outside the residence of Alamgir Khan in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area three days back, when residents of the locality and some political activists hailing from PPP gathered outside his house and demanded to resolve issues rather than photo-ops.

Khan, who became famous after making pictures of the provincial chief minister Qaim Ali Shah on missing manholes in the city, also staged protest outside the chief minister house some days back and dumped sewerage water at its gate.