Urdu Bazaar

Urdu Bazaar shopkeepers stage protest ahead of anti-encroachment operation despite the deadline


KARACHI: The shopkeepers and road-side merchants in Karachi’s Urdu Bazaar staged a protest Monday evening against the metropolis’ municipal services body, which gave a three-day deadline to vacate the area before they commence the latest chapter of their anti-encroachment drive.

The 3-day deadline, which ends on midnight, Tuesday, started on Sunday, with shopkeepers advised to vacate the premises.

The protesters, led by the Urdu Bazaar Market Association and the Booksellers Association, highlighted that the famed and beloved Urdu Bazaar was not just a group of businesses but is seen as cultural heritage of Karachi.

The demonstrators also commented on how their businesses had been in Urdu Bazaar for decades. The illegal demolition of the shops needs to be stopped, they demanded.

Protesters mentioned that the bazaar had been set up through legal procedures and that there was no encroachment there or even the slightest traces of illegality.

They said the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), under its weeks-long anti-encroachment initiative, had informed them that they should clear out their shops. The body’s demands, they noted, were illegal.

On the other hand, the KMC’s officials stressed that the Urdu Bazaar was located atop a drain and that they had advised shopkeepers to vacate in 3 days.

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