Karachi went into panic mode after news of MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s arrest by London Metropolitan Police was made public. From MQM’s initial denial of arrest to the statement that he was taken to police station for “an interview”, the half-truths and distorted facts continued, statements changed as the day progressed.
Eventually it was concluded that Altaf Hussain was indeed arrested by London Metropolitan Police on account of money laundering. He was due for a medical check up at hospital but police intervened and took him to Victoria Police Station first. Allegedly, the policemen pounded walls and made a forced entry in his mansion.
MQM leaders in Karachi marched from their well-guarded quarters in Azizabad to Numaish Chowrangi and staged a sit-in, demanding Pakistani government to guarantee safety of a British citizen arrested in London by local police.
Massive traffic gridlock at I.I. Chundrigar Road and other main arteries of Karachi as people started to flock back home in panic.
Petrol pumps started to close. Those that were left open had huge queues of apprehensive motorists stocking up for emergencies.
Public transport started to thin out as happens when Karachi comes under the curse. Commuters got stuck on the roads, especially ladies who have less options to travel even in usual days.
MQM started their sit-ins at various parts of Karachi including Liaquatabad, FB Area etc with main dharna massing up at Numaish Chowrangi.
Roads leading to British High Commission were closed and guarded by Rangers to prevent possible backlash from MQM.
Buses were burnt in various parts of Karachi.