Rangers claim arrest of MQM men over extortion, party denies charges
KARACHI: Pakistan Rangers Sindh on Thursday claimed the arrest of 16 members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for allegedly collecting donations by force from Karachi's Rizvia Society area. The claim was denied by the party in an emergency press conference held after the arrests.
The paramilitary force personnel also claimed to have recovered Rs31,500 from the arrested men along with documents and receipts related to the collection of funds during the operation.
The arrested men will be presented in court, while those proven innocent during investigations would be released, according to a statement issued by the Rangers.
The statement said the public is fed up of extortion collected in the name offitra. An appeal was also made to the masses to report at Rangers Helpline 1101 any incident of extortion of forcible collection of donations adding that Pakistan Rangers would provide protection to the public.
The MQM has condemned the Rangers' raid at the MQM's Gulbahar sector office and arrest of 16 party activists including a sector in-charge.
The party's Rabita Committee held a press conference at the party's Nine-Zero headquarters, during which party leaders questioned under what law or constitution was the collection of Zakat and fitra declared as an illegal activity.
The Rabita committee statement said that the fund collection drive was being termed as extortion collection by the Rangers in order to justify their raid.
The MQM statement said that the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation's (KKF) welfare activities are funded by the donations made by the public. The arrest of party workers and activists, who were collecting funds for the KKF, is tantamount to obstructing the activities of the welfare organisation and cruelty to the masses, the statement added.
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