On Wednesday, many roads in Karachi were blocked as demonstrations continued for a second day and spilled over to various parts of the metropolis against the killing of Shia Hazara miners earlier this week in the Mach district of Balochistan.
As protesters took to the road, burning tyres and wood and blocking traffic, tv coverage showed plumes of smoke rising.
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Today’s protests coordinated by the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) took place at several locations across the city, according to a police report, including Abbas City, Abul Hasan Ispahani Road, Kamran Chowrangi in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Power House Chowrangi in North Karachi, M. A. Jinnah Road, Sharea Faisal and Malir 15. According to the update, one track of the Sharea Faisal was also closed to traffic.
Karachi traffic police said in another report that the protests had expanded to other parts of the district, including Nipa Chowrangi. It said the road to Guru Mandir from Capri Cinema was closed for traffic and advised people to use the path of the Soldier Bazaar.
Along with other authorities, DIG Traffic Iqbal Dara visited many areas of the city and monitored attempts to keep the movement of traffic undisturbed. He said there was a strong contingent of traffic police officers stationed at all locations in Karachi.
The day before, in different parts of the city, including Abbas Area, Numaish, and outside the Karachi Press Club, members of the Hazara community staged sit-ins.
The KPC had gathered over 200 men, women, and children from the Hazara community, demanding that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Staff of the Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa ensure their community’s safety.
Many other young people were seen carrying placards holding red and green flags printed with “Ya Hussain” demanding that Hazaras’ “ethnic cleansing” be halted.
Armed assailants cut the throats of 11 miners on Sunday in a residential compound near a mine site in the Mach coalfield district of Balochistan, filming the entire incident and later uploading it online. The militant Islamic State (IS) faction has reported the gruesome attack.
Since then, thousands of Hazaras have staged a protest in the western bypass district of Quetta, organising the coffins, though members of their caste have also held protests in Karachi.
On Tuesday, the MWM also organised demonstrations in the area, attended by hundreds of people, including men, women and children.
“If someone really is concerned about our security and tragedy we are facing, it must be reflected by their moves,”If someone is really concerned about our security and the tragedy we are facing, it must be reflected in their moves.
It’s so sad that the officials were not moved by the sight of hundreds of women and children[in] the chilling cold in Quetta. Those protestors want peace, not violence or bloodshed. So the only way left for us to voice our grievances is protest, which will proceed.
The Shia Ulema Council, Jafria Alliance, Imamia Students Organisation and Jafria Students Organisation were also active in the demonstration along with the MWM.
Over the past decade, hundreds of Hazaras have been killed in attacks, including explosions in schools and busy markets, and brazen bus ambushes along highways.