Karachi ‘Fix it’ campaigner booked for littering outside CM House

─ Photo shared by PTI's Imran Ismail

Campaigner Alamgir Khan, whose ‘Fix it’ campaign to cover unsealed manholes in the metropolis gained media attention, was arrested on Thursday by police as he attempted to create a “symbolic garbage dump” outside the Sindh Chief Minister House.

Khan was on board a tractor and moving along the PIDC traffic intersection towards the Red Zone, where several state building including Chief Minister House are located, when police personnel took him and his driver, Saifullah into custody.

Read more: These Karachiites have a message for Sindh chief minister

“I have a brought this dustbin, I will put garbage in it,” Khan said, moments before he was whisked away in a police mobile.”I am doing this so that they [the Sindh government] can also smell the odour, and they also fall sick from the poor hygiene that the rest of us are suffering.”

Later in the afternoon, a First Information Report (FIR) No. 27/2016 was registered against Khan at the Civil Lines police station for ‘disrupting traffic’ and ‘littering outside the CM House’ under section 341 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Khan is apprehended by police near the PIDC traffic intersection — DawnNewsKhan is apprehended by police near the PIDC traffic intersection — DawnNews

A video posted on the campaigner’s Facebook page shows Khan and his driver riding a tractor along with a garbage-filled trolley on Sharea Faisal, heading towards CM House, to install what he says was a “symbolic garbage bin”.

A view of the blocked roads heading towards CM House. — Courtesy Khan's Facebook page.A view of the blocked roads heading towards CM House. — Courtesy Khan’s Facebook page.

Routes leading to the CM house were sealed by police. Television footage showed the tractor dumping garbage into a bin.

Khan’s driver was detained by policemen and also beaten with sticks. The campaigner approached police officials to get his driver released but was taken into custody.

Khan's driver was beaten with sticks before being detained by policemen.—DawnNewsKhan’s driver was beaten with sticks before being detained by policemen.—DawnNews

Khan and his driver were taken to a nearby police station in a police mobile van while the tractor and trolley was driven away by policemen.

— DawnNews

As part of the Fix it campaign, a group of Karachiites led by Khan have been spray-painting the portrait of Sindh CM on major roads of the metropolis, which invoke the ire of thousands everyday due to their derelict condition.

Khan, who holds a senior position in the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI’s) Karachi division, has insisted that the campaign is purely apolitical.

With the chief minister’s face drawn next to gaping potholes, ditches and heaps of piles on the side of Karachi’s busy arteries, the aim of the project was to attract the authorities’ attention towards the issues that affect Karachiites, Khan had earlier told Dawn.com.

Khan had said the campaign is aimed at Sindh leaders “who have no idea” about problems faced by residents of Karachi as the politicians themselves reside in “elite areas where community problems are rare”.

The group later purchases covers and sealed manholes in several areas of the city, later arranging for a tractor to pick up garbage from piles of heap on the roadsides.

IG suspends three policemen

Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali later suspended three police officers including Station House Officer (SHO) Gulshan-i-Iqbal, traffic incharge Gulshan and head of special branch of the area.

Sources says that the trio was suspended for allowing Alamgir Khan with the tractor full of garbage towards CM House.