KARACHI: Around 1,000 retired soldiers who were recently recruited in the police department will be deployed in city’s district west, dotted with hideouts of most of the groups believed to be involved in the killing of law enforcers, it emerged on Sunday.

The move to depute them in the district coincided with the police authorities plan to shift more than 200 policemen, who have been facing serious threat mostly from banned militant groups, from Orangi Town to other parts of Karachi. A top official told Dawn that the decision to post the recently recruited ex-servicemen was part of a strategy devised to enhance security in the district that witnessed a surge in the killing of policemen. Police investigators see banned militant groups behind most of the killings of the law enforcers.

“Following these findings, we have decided to deploy the ex-servicemen, who have been made part of the Karachi police force, in district west,” said additional inspector general of police Ghulam Qadir Thebo while speaking to Dawn.

“They will be posted at police stations in district west to reinforce manpower there. The area needs more policemen than what other districts require. It will help in controlling the situation to a large extent.”

Only a few months ago, the Sindh government had lifted a ban on recruitment ‘only for the police department’, allowing it to hire some 7,000 constables on a proposal of the security administration that allowed 1,200 ex-servicemen to become part of the law-enforcement agency.

Sindh police to recruit 2,000 ex-army men

It was for the first time that the law-enforcement agency recruited retired armed forces personnel for the post of police constables. There are precedents, however, when retired officers from the army joined the police department to work at senior and top positions.

Among the 1,200 retired soldiers, 1,000 were hired for Karachi and with the latest development, it seems all of them are likely to join their duty in district west.

With threats ranging from terror attacks to deadly encounters with gangsters and from clashes with street criminals to hit men associated with political groups, the Karachi police are passing through the most challenging phase of its history and have already lost nearly 100 men so far this year.

“We have identified 40 teams involved in the targeted killings of policemen. We have busted several such teams and arrested their members but it’s an ongoing process and in the meantime we have to ensure security of our men as well,” said additional IG Thebo.

“Only a few killings were carried out in reaction to some arrests, such as the one recently executed in Korangi where a police officer was targeted a day after we arrested a few suspects for their involvement in targeted killings.”

For the Karachi police in general and those posted in ‘sensitive areas’ in particular, the law-enforcement agency was making the required arrangements, including provision of modern security gadgets and arms, to improve their working, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2014

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