A protest outside an upscale neighborhood of Bahria Town on the edge of Karachi city turned violent on Sunday when some miscreants set fire to vehicles and damaged commercial and residential properties within the gated community.
Responding to the call of the nationalist parties and civil society groups, protesters had gathered at Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) gates on M9 Motorway Sunday morning.
Videos circulating on social media showed protesters waving flags and chanting slogans. However, the situation turned haywire in the evening, when vandalism and rioting broke out.
Miscreants barged through the gates of the BTK and set fire to several vehicles and shops inside, according to police and residents.
In the midst of this chaos, the residents decried the damage to the property and called for compensation.
They complained that the police were unprepared and no law enforcers could be seen when the protest turned violent and claimed that they incurred losses worth millions of rupees when the situation escalated.
However, police representatives said the police were present throughout and responded swiftly when the situation turned ugly. He added that police officers, including an SHO, were also injured during the clash between the miscreants and the LEAs.
Meanwhile, social media reports highlighted police resorting to tear gas shelling to disperse the protesters. Representatives of the Sindh Action Committee and civil society groups distanced themselves from the vandalism and maintained that their protest was peaceful and that they left the site as soon as the situation turned violent.
The protesters allege that the BTK management is trying to occupy lands in the nearby Noor Muhammad Gabol Goth, Usman Allahrakhiyo Goth, Hadi Bakhsh Gabol Goth, and Abdullah Gabol Goth besides other lands in the vicinity.