Routine life remained disrupted in the metropolis on Friday too as right wing religious factions continued their protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi on the third day. Some areas of the city remained blocked due to sit-ins staged by various factions. Educational institutes remained closed and there was a complete shutdown of public transport.According to the city’s industrialists, employees were unable to report at work on Friday and Thursday because of the protests. “More than 50 percent of industrial units have been facing loss of production”, they estimated. Moreover, business owners and industrialists appealed to the government to step in and control the situation to prevent further loss to manufacturing and export sectors. A businessman namely Ahmed informed Daily Times that Karachi, the industrial hub of the country, remained paralysed on Friday because all the important roads in the city were blocked by protestors. Wholesale trade of essential items and every day commodities was also affected by the staged sit-ins. Knots of protestors belonging to various religious outfits blocked central areas and cardinal roads of the city, bringing economic activities to a halt. Most of the Mandis(marketplaces) remained closed because of the protests making it difficult for citizens to obtain basic provisions like ration, milk, vegetables and other items. This disruption in economic activities adversely impacted small scale sellers and daily wage workers too. Muhammad FarhanLuchh, a daily wage worker, informed Daily Times that the protests had badly impacted his financial position and he was unable to find work.Students were also adversely impacted by the shutdown because educational institutes remained closed on Friday. Muhammad Abdullah who is studying in grade 10 told Daily Times that he was worried about his studies. “We had two unexpected holidays on Thursday and Friday,” he said, adding that this would definitely make it harder for students to catch up for their exams. “I went to school but school was off. The school management did not bother to inform me that the school would remain closed,” he lamented. Earlier, Sindh Rangers director general Major General Muhammad Saaed had warned that if the protests got out of hand, they will take due action against the protestors in line with the directives issued by the federal government.Published in Daily Times, November 3rd 2018.