KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Coordination Committee member Dr Farooq Sattar on Sunday accused the Rangers of torturing party workers imprisoned at the Karachi Central Jail.
He said he had received reports that a heavy contingent of Rangers on Friday evening “conducted an operation” at the Karachi prison – in barracks 18, 19, 24 and 25 – and took away 40 under-trial ‘MQM prisoners whose cases are pending hearing.’
“We heard they were tortured and intimidated,” he said, adding that jail administration cooperated with the Rangers.
Sattar alleged the jail’s superintendent and other officials were also present when the paramilitary personnel conducted the ‘raid.’
The senior MQM leader alleged the prisoners were being mistreated and their legal facilities under the ‘jail manual’ have been withdrawn.
“Maybe they refused to change their loyalties and are being subjected to torture,” he speculated, adding that the situation was reminiscent of the “heavy-handed tactics employed in 1992.”
“We didn't have evidence before, it was just a suspicion. But now we are sure this isn't just a conspiracy... Their loyalties are being forcibly converted, [they are told] they will be given facilities in jail and maybe the charges against them will be relaxed and they will be released soon if they agree to certain conditions,” he said.
“The cat is out of the bag.”