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Armed attack on anti-encroachment team in Karachi's Surjani Town leaves mukhtiarkar dead


KARACHI: A revenue official (mukhtiarkar) was on Monday shot dead and two other officials were wounded by what police described as “land mafia” during an anti-encroachment operation to vacate a plot in Surjani Town on court orders.

SSP-West Faisal Bashir Memon told Dawn that the mukhtiarkar of Manghopir, Ejaz Ali Chandio, along with mobiles vans of anti-encroachment cell of the Sindh government’s Board of Revenue backed by local police, led a campaign in Surjani Town’s Saira Bibi Goth to vacate a plot of the Saylani Welfare Trust.

However, they were faced stiff resistance from the occupants of the land, who resorted to firing, wounding a mukhtiarkar, tapedar and a shovel operator.

Mukhtiarkar Chandio was taken to a private hospital on Stadium Road where he was pronounced dead.

Murad orders action against land grabbers

SSP Memon said the victim had sustained bullet wounds in the chest.

Deputy Commissioner-West Shazia Jaffar told Dawn that the ‘land mafia’ had occupied a plot measuring around 1,000 square yards.

She said that the trust had planned to use the space for their welfare activity in the locality and it was the duty of the administration to comply with the court order with regard to getting vacated the amenity plot vacated from illegal occupation.

The deputy commissioner said the administration had planned an anti-encroachment operation around one week ago. However, she regretted that local police never provided back-up support to district administration whenever it planned such actions.

She said it was not the first incident in which land mafia shot government officials as recently, prior to her assuming charge of the DC-West, another official was shot and wounded during an anti-encroachment drive.

Terming the deceased officer a ‘martyr’, she said that such officers were asset for the administration.

About the condition of two other wounded persons, she said they were out of danger.

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed said that wounded Saeed Alam, 40, was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment. He suffered a bullet wounds in the hand.

Slain Chandio, who originally hailed from Naushahro Feroze district, was appointed as mukhtiarkar of Manghopir on Oct 27. He was a cousin of PPP MPA Mumtaz Chandio.

PPP-Sindh general secretary Waqar Mehdi said he was a good officer, who was working against ‘land mafia’ in the area without taking any pressure.

CM seeks report

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the armed attack on the anti-encroachment team and sought a detailed report from the Karachi commissioner.

He also directed the Sindh police chief for immediate arrest of the ‘land mafia’ who opened fire on the officials.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his condolence over the death of the mukhtiarkar with his cousin and PPP lawmaker Mumtaz Chandio.

He assured him that the killers would be brought to justice at the earliest.

MQM-P condemns killing

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has condemned the armed attack on anti-encroachment team and killing of mukhtiarkar and observed that it seemed that land mafia was allowed to freely challenge the writ of the state.

In a statement, the party said that it appeared that the law enforcement agencies were helpless in front of armed land-grabbers.

The MQM-P appealed to the police and Rangers chiefs to take notice of the incident and ensure arrest of those involved.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2022

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