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Situation in Karachi normal,despite MQM appeal

12 September, 2015

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KARACHI: Situation in most parts of Karachi remained normal and business and educational institutions opened as per schedule Saturday morning despite an announcement by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) that called for a ‘day of mourning’ along with an appeal to traders and transporters to keep their businesses shut in response to its allegations that Rangers had killed of three of its workers.

Regular public transport could be seen on the roads of the metropolis while petrol pumps and schools were also operating as per routine. No significant decrease could be observed in traffic on the roads in a majority of the city's areas.

Personnel from the Rangers paramilitary force were present in sensitive areas of Karachi as well as in spots of the metropolis that are routinely crowded.

Most traders opened their shops and businesses. However, markets in some areas, including Korangi, Federal B. Area, Landhi and Karimabad remained shut.

Earlier, Dawn reported that the party's call came when the already tense relations between MQM and the security establishment strained further on Friday with the MQM accusing Rangers of killing its workers in what it described as a fake encounter. The MQM's accusation was followed by a strong reaction from the paramilitary force which claimed that all the four killed were terrorists hiding in ‘safe houses’ on the party's directives.

Rangers claimed to have killed the four suspects on Thursday night in an ‘encounter’ on the Northern Bypass, near Sohrab Goth.

The situation turned tense after the MQM identified three of them as its workers who, it claimed, had been arrested by Rangers a month ago.

On the other hand, Rangers dismissed MQM allegations as propaganda that was misleading and contrary to the truth.

In a statement, the Rangers came up with details of charges against the deceased MQM workers killed in the ‘encounter’. The force said: “All four terrorists were also involved in extortion in Korangi Industrial Area and part of Raees Mama’s hit-men team."

Following its allegations last night, the MQM appealed to traders, transporters and industrialists to keep their businesses closed to express solidarity with the victims of what it called extrajudicial killings.

The MQM would also hold a rally on Sunday in Karachi's Liaquatabad area which would proceed to the Quaid’s mausoleum in protest against the killings.

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