KARACHI: Police have ‘neutralised’ more individuals and gangs allegedly involved in heinous offences in the city in the first seven months of the current year than the criminals they had eliminated last year.

According to the performance report on the ongoing Karachi operation prepared by the Sindh home department, police have already recorded 935 shootings against criminal gangs and individuals by the end of July, which are 66 more than the 869 encounters last year.

A total of 596 gangs have been busted – 118 more than the 478 gangs eliminated last year, while 386 ‘criminals’ have been ‘neutralised’ – 125 more than the alleged criminals gunned down in 2014.

Know more: Robbed at gunpoint: Citizens vulnerable despite Rangers operation

Giving a break-up of violent offenders killed in shootings with police, the report said 136 of them were ‘terrorists’ belonging to various banned organisations who had history of involvement in militant attacks against citizens and law-enforcement agencies. Last year, just 28 ‘terrorists’ were eliminated in exchanges of fire with police.

Two of the ‘criminals’ killed in encounters were involved in kidnapping for ransom, while no kidnapper was killed in a similar manner last year.

Most of the ‘criminals’ who have met a violent end have been called bandits or dacoits. The report said 248 bandits had been killed in encounters — 15 more than the figure of the whole last year.

The comparative crime statistics given in the report show that 522 people were killed by the end of July – less than half of the 1,090 who lost their lives during the corresponding period last year.

The report said 49 kidnappings (for ransom) were reported in the first seven months of last year while just a single such case was reported so far this year.

Against 264 cases of extortion last year, the number of such cases has ‘significantly dropped’ to 115 this year.

Some 421 robberies were committed in the city in the first seven months of last year and the number re­­ported so far this year was 393.

The report claimed that murders or targeted killings in the city hit an all-time low.

“The analysis of first seven months shows that average murders reported in 2015 are 2.7 per day as compared to 5.7 murders per day in 2014,” said the report. It said the numbers of targeted killings were even graver in 2013 when around nine people a day had been killed.

The report described the police performance in Lyari as a ‘success story’ and said 120 members of dozens of criminal gangs were ‘neutralised’ during 2015.

It said eight bank robberies took place during seven months of the current year as compared to 21 in the same period last year.

The cases of other types of robbery declined ‘exceptionally’ to 19 from 68 during the corresponding period of last year.

The report claimed that the number of social ‘vice dens’ had declined by 90 per cent, but did not substantiate its assertion through figures.

Explaining the crime scenario of Sindh, it said a 60pc decrease was recorded in the incidents of extortion as compared to 2014. It said there were 233 such complaints this year as compared to 543 in the corresponding period last year.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2015

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