KARACHI: Christian families in Manghopir Sultanabad oppressed by extortionists. (Bhatta Mafia)
As CIP has learned, a Christian boy resident of the effected area informed that Christian families residing Manghopir Sultanabad are being harassed by the extortionists. These extortionists seemed to have come from Waziristan, who throw extortion notes in the houses of Manghopir whilst demanding huge amounts of money. The boy further revealed that although there are few Christian families residing in this area yet they are not spared by the oppressors.
He went on to state that, those who deny their demands are intimidated moreover threatened to be killed. The law enforcing Agencies are overlooking the matter, while the rangers and police have taken no action against these extortionists so far. He further says that these aggressors pelt stones at their homes, spreading terror so much so that regular Sunday services were cancelled since past two weeks because of these extortionists.
On 24th of June, 2013, some extortionists broke into house of a Christian resident Mr. Victor and asked him to pay 10, 00000 Rupees. Mr. Victor has been residing in this area since last 14 years, but vacated his house last Friday for the fear of these extortionists. The boy expressed his fear that no one has yet come to their rescue, as the situation becomes worse day by day. The locals are perplexed to the extent that one by one they are abandoning the area. He calls upon Higher Authorities to take firm action against these extortionists, ensuring the security of the residents of Manghopir Sultanabad. However, the victimization of these extortionists is not based on religion or ethnicity.
Prior to the military operation in the country’s tribal areas in 2009, Manghopir, Sultanabad, wore an unoccupied look. Given the low population, the neighbourhood was popularly known as the ‘forest of Manghopir’. The area was also ethnically diverse occupied mostly by low-income families.
The region witnesses significant changes when the internally displaced persons (IDPs) made their way down to Karachi and settled in various Pashtun-dominated areas. These IDPs initially stayed with their relatives but afterwards bought a number of plots. Most of them returned once the operation ended, but those who were affiliated with the Taliban and had used the migration as a means to escape the operation, stayed back.
The older residents of Manghopir acknowledge that the Taliban gained strength in this area due to support from the community. “The reaction was mixed – some people agreed with their mindset so they joined hands gladly, others were forced,” a resident reveals.