KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President Karachi Chamber Siraj Kassam Teli and President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, while strongly condemning the hand grenade attack at Kharadar Cloth Market in which an elderly citizen was killed and five others were injured, urged the Sindh Government and Law Enforcing Agencies to save small traders and shopkeepers from the clutches of extortion mafia, which is responsible for sabotaging peace and security in Karachi by triggering the element of fear across the city.
In a statement, Siraj Teli and Muffasar Malik stressed that LEAs must devise strict strategies to completely wipe out extortionists and ensure foolproof security to the business and industrial community, particularly small traders and shopkeepers of the Old City Areas who continue to receive threats and were being victimized by the Extortion Mafia.
They said that Extortion Mafia elements were fearlessly carrying out their activities at some of the busiest markets of the city during broad daylight, which clearly highlights the lapses of Police, Rangers and other LEAs to deal with the situation.
“LEAs including Pakistan Rangers Sindh and Police have been urging shopkeepers and Small Traders to refrain from paying extortion money and assuring to provide security to their lives and businesses but keeping in view the constant threats by Extortion Mafia and the recent incident in Kharadar Market, it appears that the perturbed shopkeepers are at the mercy of extortionists as any refusal to succumb to their demands usually results in dire consequences”, they added.
Chairman BMG and President KCCI further noted that Small Traders and Shopkeepers are in a confusing situation nowadays as on one hand, they are constantly receiving threats from Extortion Mafia and on the other, they are being detained by Rangers on charge of facilitating extortion activities. “To save their lives and businesses, shopkeepers are compelled to pay extortion money as they don’t see any hope in terms of provision of security either by Police or by Rangers hence, the incident in Kharadar Cloth Market was the hot topic immediately after the hand grenade was hurled”, they added.
“When they (Rangers and Police) know that most of the extortion activities including the recent one, has been carried out by a particular gang based in Lyari, what refrains them from taking strictest action against such culprits”, they asked, adding that Police and Rangers must take practical and result oriented steps to put an end to rising extortion activities and provide full-fledged security to all the markets of the city otherwise, the situation would lead to trust deficit and damage the image of Police and Rangers who have done a splendid job under Karachi Operation to restore peace to certain extent but they have partially remained unsuccessful in dealing with rising activities of Extortion Mafia and Street Crimes.
Appreciating those shopkeepers of Kharadar Cloth Market who refused to give extortion money that led to hurling of hand grenade, Siraj Teli and Muffasar Malik advised small traders and shopkeepers of all markets to immediately report extortion threats to KCCI and LEAs so that its Sub-Committee on Law & Order could privately take up and pursue such cases with Police and Rangers in order to avoid such untoward incidents in future.
They urged Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Home Minister Sohail Anwer Siyal, DG Rangers Maj. Gen. Mohammad Saeed and IG Sindh AD Khowaja that instead of issuing the traditional notice and seeking report of the incident, they must order strict action this time in order to provide relief to the business community. “The extortionists, who are attempting to once again plunge Karachi into the darkness of insecurity and lawlessness, have to be apprehended at any cost”, they stressed.